CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – It wasn’t expected, but a Mahoning County judge pleaded not guilty to theft charges in a federal courtroom.
Mahoning County Area Court Judge Diane Vettori was accused of stealing over $96,000 from the estate of a client in her private practice. She had been drafting a will for the woman, and after the woman died, prosecutors say Vettori stole money from the woman’s home.
Federal prosecutors initially released what’s known as an “information” in the case, suggesting that Vettori would not fight the charges. In fact, her fellow judges issued a statement claiming that she told them she would be resigning from the bench.
Wednesday, however, Vettori entered a not guilty plea.
Prosecutors told the judge that they will now seek an indictment against her.
Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court disqualified Vettori from serving until her case was finished.