A hearing was held at the Highland County Board of Elections Thursday, Aug. 22 regarding a challenge to a write-in candidate for mayor of Hillsboro, with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office set to determine whether the candidate will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Hillsboro city elector Rosemary Ryan filed a challenge to former Hillsboro building inspector Anton Weissmann's declaration of residency at 211 South High Street, Apt. A.

Highland County Board of Elections members Kay Ayres, Steve Hunter, Dinah Phillips and Andy West, Director Debbie Craycraft, Deputy Director Heather Loudin, Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins and a representative from the Ohio secretary of state's office heard testimony from Ryan and Weissmann.

Following an executive session after the testimony, the board voted 2-2 on whether to allow Weissmann on the ballot, with Ayres and Phillips voting no and Hunter and West voting yes. According to the Board of Elections office, since there was a tie vote, the Secretary of State’s office will make the decision.

Both Ryan and Weissmann testified under oath.

Collins questioned Weissmann about a June 27 audio recording in which he stated that he lives in Germantown.

Weissmann replied that he did have a home in Germantown, but his residence has been changed to Hillsboro. He said he first lived at 122 North High Street, above the former Wanda's Grill but later changed his address to 211 South High.

Collins asked Weissmann where he last voted.

Weissmann replied that he last voted in Warren County.

Collins also asked Weissmann his date of birth, to which Weissmann replied “June 9, 1960."

"What was the address used on your car license renewal?" Collins asked.

"I don't have a car," Weissmann replied. He said his car is provided through American Investigation Services in Cincinnati.

Collins then questioned his address on his checking account.

"I don't have a checking account," Weissmann said.

When asked what address he provided to the city of Hillsboro while he was employed by the city, Weissmann said it was a post office box in Franklin.

Weissmann told the board that he did not want to publicize his residency at 211 South High Street because his landlord (identified as Mr. Hill) has been repeatedly harassed for renting to him. Weissmann did not say whether his landlord has filed any reports with the Hillsboro Police Department.

West explained that once he filed as a candidate, his residence became a public record.

Phillips questioned the dates of receipts provided by Weissmann, including a water bill for 122 North High Street and another listing 211 South Main Street and a taxing district of Sinking Spring.

"Hillsboro does not have a South Main Street, but Sinking Spring does," Phillips said. "You filed on Aug. 5, but everything you provided is dated after Aug. 5. We are looking for data before Aug. 5."

After questioning from Collins and board members, Weissmann asked for a continuance to gather additional information.

The board entered into executive session at 10:15 a.m. to discuss the matter. After exiting executive session, the board tied on the vote for whether to allow Weissmann on the ballot.

As previously reported, Weissmann was fired as the city’s building officer/building code enforcement officer by the current Hillsboro mayor on July 25.

As of Aug. 8, 2019, the last official address that the city has for Weissmann is P.O. Box 396, Franklin, Ohio 45005, according to the city auditor’s office.

Clinton County Municipal Court records show Weissmann was living at 8564 Martz Paulin Road, Franklin, Ohio 45005 as of last year. The case was closed on Oct. 17, 2018 showing this as his address.

The Warren County Auditor’s Office from 2018 also shows the same address for Weissmann.

In a June 27, 2019 audio recording (at the 10:40 mark), Weissmann states: “The town I live in is about the same size {as Hillsboro}. I live in Germantown. I live on a farm.”

Current records in Highland County also show 211 South High Street, Hillsboro, as an office building for both stories.

A pending civil lawsuit against Weissmann in his capacity as code enforcement officer — filed by the Southern Ohio Historic Preservation Investment Group, LLC — was settled in Highland County Common Pleas Court this week.

Republican Justin Harsha will be the lone partisan candidate for mayor of Hillsboro. Harsha is currently a Hillsboro city council member and local business owner.

Running as a write-in candidate for Hillsboro mayor is Philip Loveless, who also goes by the surname “Love.” Loveless told The Highland County Press he was running for mayor “so Harsha would not run unopposed.”