Embattled council member charged again

Dexter Au

NORTH KINGSVILLE — North Kingsville Police arrested councilman Dexter Au late Wednesday night.

Au was cooperative when he was arrested, and he was transported to the Ashtabula County Jail, Chief Shannon Krenisky said.

Au is facing felony charges in Mercer County, Pa. He was charged with theft by deception or false representation and receiving stolen goods, both third-degree felonies, along with passing bad checks, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to court records. The charges were filed in Greenville, Pa.

Charges were filed on Oct. 16, for an offense that occurred on Oct. 15, according to court records.

An extradition hearing was held in Eastern County Court on Thursday morning. Au waived extradition, according to court records, and the Sheriff’s Office was ordered to arrange transportation to Mercer County.

“Our police department assisted with an agency in this arrest,” North Kingsville Mayor Tim Zee said.

He also stressed that the charges have nothing to do with Au’s work on the Village Council.

Au was elected to North Kingsville Council in 2015 and is currently running for re-election, according to county records.

In August, a number of area residents spoke at a North Kingsville Council meeting, criticizing Au for business practices and debts. At the meeting, Ruben Schwartz, a contractor who had done work on North Kingsville Village Hall, spoke out against Au, citing debts owed to the county.

“I don’t think you all understand, or you might understand, but the thing is for you guys to sit up there, you guys need to be upstanding, to run the community and everything. ... He owes the county just under $19,000,” Schwartz said in August.

At the same meeting, Schwartz called for Au to step down. “I’m going to ask you, Dexter, out of all this, by all means, if you’re a man about it, you would step down and give your position up, because you’re not the man to run this position. Think about it,” Schwartz said.

No matter what happens next, Au’s name will be on the ballot on election day this November, Board of Elections Director Charlie Frye said. If a candidate withdraws, his or her name will still appear on the ballot, but a letter will be sent out with absentee ballots, informing voters of the withdrawal, and a notice will be posted at polling locations on election day.

Au was asked for a comment after the extradition hearing.

“Please don’t destroy me. Be nice. Just be nice,” Au said.

No further court dates have been set in this case.

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