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Article published July 8, 2013
3 attorneys named to consider Eckstein’s claim
The names of the three attorneys who will review whether Butler County Commissioner Jim Eckstein made an unfounded accusation against President Judge Thomas Doerr were released Monday. Attorney Mike Gallagher, president of the county Bar Association, named retired county Judge George Hancher, Zelienople attorney Phil Lope and Butler attorney Elizabeth Smith to the committee. The bar association on June 27 voted 31 to 0 to determine if there should be a response to what Eckstein said at the June 19 commissioners meeting. At that meeting, Eckstein said the elimination of the part-time county jury commissioners would enable jury tampering in a defamation case against him. He accused fellow Commissioner Dale Pinkerton, who is one of three people suing Eckstein, of spearheading the jury commissioners’ removal so Pinkerton could conspire with Doerr to taint the jury pool for the defamation case. The three attorneys will discuss and recommend what, if any, response the association should take.