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Whitehall City Attorney Faces Residency and Mayor Issues

CEO Khai Intela
Brad Nicodemus, the Whitehall City Attorney, is under scrutiny for his residency and is facing challenges from the mayor of Buckeye Lake. This is not the first time Nicodemus has had to change homes to...

Brad Nicodemus Brad Nicodemus, the Whitehall City Attorney, is under scrutiny for his residency and is facing challenges from the mayor of Buckeye Lake. This is not the first time Nicodemus has had to change homes to comply with residency requirements. Let's delve into the details.

Nicodemus's Residency Troubles

In order to meet the residency requirements to be Whitehall City Attorney, Brad Nicodemus rented an apartment in the city, despite owning a half-million-dollar home in Licking County. This is not the first time Nicodemus has had to change homes to comply with the law. As the law director, some find his behavior secretive and questionable.

The mayor of Buckeye Lake, located 40 miles east of Columbus, sent Nicodemus a termination letter due to a long-standing disagreement. This disagreement stems from Nicodemus's strong ties to the village council as the village solicitor, which the mayor believes undermines her authority.

Previous Residency Issues

Nicodemus faced similar residency issues in the past when he resigned as the mayor of Baltimore in Fairfield County. He cited buying a new home outside of the village as the reason for his resignation before the end of his term. Last year, when the former Whitehall City Attorney decided not to run again, Nicodemus had the opportunity to run unopposed for the job.

To comply with the residency requirement, Nicodemus changed his voter registration to an apartment in Whitehall and voted there in the November election. However, some residents of Whitehall raised concerns about his true residency, stating that if his statement about remaining in Fairfield County is true, he does not meet Whitehall's residency requirement.

Residency requirements for public office have gray areas and are rarely enforced. Other public officials have also used second homes to run for office outside their jurisdictions.

Investigating Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther's Alleged Call

Nicodemus is currently investigating allegations that Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther made a call to a Franklin County judge to pressure her in a case involving a Greyhound/Baron's bus station near the Hilltop. However, Nicodemus himself faces criticism due to his connection with Whitehall Mayor Michael Bivens, a longtime friend of Ginther. Critics claim that this connection presents its own conflict of interest.

Nicodemus insists that he can remain unbiased in the investigation. He even avoids entering the same building as Ginther after Bivens' swearing-in as the mayor. However, Joe Motil, a Ginther critic, has filed motions to remove Nicodemus as the special prosecutor, citing his connections to Franklin County politics. Motil objects to City Attorney Zach Klein, who represents Ginther, having final say over Nicodemus's work.

Contentions with Buckeye Lake Mayor

Apart from his role as Whitehall City Attorney, Nicodemus also provides legal advice to the villages of Amanda, Pleasantville, and Buckeye Lake. However, this has led to a feud with Buckeye Lake Mayor Jeryne Peterson. Peterson claims that Nicodemus is undermining her authority by siding with the village council's decision to censure her. The friction began when an employee filed a complaint against Peterson for hostility.

Nicodemus recommended hiring an outside human resources firm to address the issue, as he felt it would be inappropriate for him to advise the mayor when he is both her client and the accused. However, Peterson argues that Nicodemus does not understand the "strong mayor" form of government and has entered into a contract with another law firm to replace him.

The situation escalated when Peterson accused Nicodemus of accepting payment for work he did not actually do. She filed a complaint against him with the Ohio Office of Disciplinary Counsel, while also facing a petition for her own removal as mayor.

Nicodemus's Focus and Hobbies

Despite the challenges he faces, Nicodemus tries to maintain control over what he can. He believes in keeping levity in the situation and not dwelling on things beyond his control. He finds solace in his 3 ½-acre property, where he keeps horses that provide a sense of calm.

Residency requirements for public office can be complex and controversial. While Nicodemus tries to comply with the spirit of the law, his situation raises questions about the enforcement and interpretation of such requirements.

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Jeryne Peterson Jeryne Peterson, the mayor of Buckeye Lake, is at odds with Brad Nicodemus for undermining her authority.