Comedian accused of abusing power as mayor is acquitted

Hillsboro, Ohio, Mayor and veteran standup comedian Drew Hastings is interviewed at his office, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in Hillsboro, Ohio. A court-appointed special prosecutor from the state auditor’s office is among those investigating Hastings. Allegations have included improper use of city trash bins and falsifying his residency in Hillsboro, 60 miles east of Cincinnati.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

HILLSBORO, OH (AP) – A veteran standup comedian accused of abusing his power as mayor of a small Ohio city has been acquitted of all counts.

A Highland County jury on Wednesday found Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings not guilty of a charge of election falsification concerning his residency and of a charge stemming from alleged misuse of city trash bins.

Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove earlier threw out the two other felony counts he faced.

The Times-Gazette reports a special prosecutor from Ohio’s auditor’s office told jurors Tuesday that Hastings “thought the laws didn’t apply to him.”

A defense attorney says Hastings’ political enemies were behind an investigation that began soon after the Republican’s re-election to a second term last November.

The city of 6,600 people is 60 miles east of Cincinnati. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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