HILLSBORO — A Highland County jury found Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings not guilty on both remaining counts against him in common pleas court Wednesday afternoon.
The judge in the trial of Hastings had granted a defense motion Wednesday morning to dismiss two of the four felony counts against the mayor, and the case was headed to the jury following testimony by Hastings.
Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove on Wednesday granted a motion by defense attorney James Boulger to dismiss one of two theft counts against Hastings in regard to the alleged improper use of a city dumpster, as well as a charge of tampering with records in connection to a $500 vacant property building refund he received.
Special prosecutor Robert F. Smith argued that the charges should remain, but the judge ruled that no evidence had been presented showing that Hastings created or ordered the creation of a document authorizing the $500 refund, and also ruled that no deception had been proven in the alleged use of the city dumpster.
Remaining charges were in connection with his residency when he filed his candidacy declaration in 2015, as well as a second theft charge in connection with the dumpster use.
After the judge’s ruling, and with the state resting its case, Hastings took the stand in his own defense and answered questions about the dumpster use and his residency.
Following a noon lunch break, the jury received instructions and began deliberations.