Clermont judge’s attorney: ‘Unfounded’ third-party allegation prompted special prosecutor review

A special prosecutor appointed to oversee an investigation into allegations involving a Clermont County judge and one of his staff members, FOX19 had confirmed.
Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 3:56 PM EDT
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BATAVIA, Ohio (WXIX) - The attorney for Clermont County Municipal Court Judge Jesse Kramig said Monday an ‘unfounded’ third-party allegation about him prompted a special prosecutor review.

“A third party made an unfounded allegation against Judge Kramig,” Scott Croswell tells FOX19 NOW. “Out of an abundance of precaution, Prosecutor Mark Tekulve forwarded the matter to Prosecutor David Fornshell. I am confident that after a full and fair review of the matter, there will be no further action taken.”

FOX19 NOW reached out to the third party Monday in light of the judge’s attorney’s statement and requested comment.

We will update this story if we receive anything.

Last week, Clermont County Prosecutor Mark Tekulve filed court records seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The Clermont County prosecutor’s request for a special prosecutor came just one day after FOX19 NOW requested several public records related to the judge, 42, and his administrative assistant, Allison Kersker, 25.

Our request includes copies of any complaints about the judge and Kersker’s personnel file.

So far, Clermont County Municipal Court officials have not released any records. On Monday, we went to the courthouse to check on our records request.

Court Administrator Stephanie Bohrer said they were working on it.

We also requested comments again from the judge and Kersker.

While we heard from Kramig’s lawyer shortly after, Kersker has yet to respond to our requests.

Tekulve’s motion says Warren County Prosecutor Dave Fornshell “has agreed to investigate and prosecute, if necessary, allegations involving J/A, and that a uniform investigation and prosecution would best serve the interest of justice.”

It also requests that Fornshell, or an assistant prosecuting attorney designee from his office, be appointed “to fully prosecute this case in the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas as well as all other courts in the State of Ohio, if necessary until all matters are complete.

“Prosecutor David Fornshell and his designated Assistant Prosecuting Attorney (s) will serve as Special Prosecutor at no cost to Clermont County.”

The judge’s order appointing Fornshell special prosecutor says he will “investigate, prosecute and adjudicate, as necessary, all proceedings that may arise from this appointment, including but not limited to grand jury, pretrial and trial court proceedings, appeals and post-conviction proceedings and any and all other prosecutorial duties which may arise herein relating to the allegations involving J/A.”

Fornshell declined to comment Friday morning.

Tekulve released a prepared comment: “My office has received several inquiries regarding a Motion for Appointment of Special Prosecutor. The motion was filed due to a potential conflict of interest should a criminal investigation be initiated in the referenced matter.”

Kramig has been a judge in Clermont County since 2016.

He also worked in the county prosecutor’s office at one point as an assistant prosecutor of felony cases.

In 2014, he was promoted by then-County Prosecutor Vincent Faris to supervisory assistant in the common pleas felony division.

He handled the office’s most serious cases and supervised other assistant prosecutors and other staff and for making recommendations on presentment of cases to the grand jury, according to his biography on the court’s website.

Kramig began working at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in 2015 as a senior assistant attorney general.

The position required him to travel to different Ohio counties, trying and convicting multiple offenders for white-collar crimes, corrupt activity and theft from the elderly.

In 2016, then-Gov. John Kasich appointed Kramig to complete the final year of Clermont County Municipal Court Judge Anthony Brock’s six-year term.

Kramig was elected the following year to serve a six-year term of his own.

He currently presides over his regular municipal court docket and the county’s OVI court.

Clermont County Board of Elections records show Kramig is unopposed on the November ballot.

Read the request for a special prosecutor and entry appointing Warren County’s prosecutor.

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