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Rist files petition for Ironton City Council

IRONTON — Former Ironton police officer Beth Rist has officially filed her intention to run as a candidate for one of four open seats on Ironton City Council this November.

Rist submitted her competed petition along with her $45 filing fee and designation of treasurer form with the Lawrence County Board of Elections on Thursday, election officials confirmed. She joins current city council member Leo Johnson as the only two candidates who have filed for Ironton’s legislative body.

Five others, including current council members Bob Cleary, Mike Lutz and Ralph “Butch” Huff, along with former council member Hugh Scott and Dave Frazer have picked up petition packets for Ironton City Council, but have yet to file.

The filing deadline for the upcoming Nov. 3 election is Aug. 20. The Lawrence County Board of Elections will certify all petitions the following day.

Rist, whose 13-year career with the Ironton Police Department has played out like a game of table-tennis in terms of both legal wrangling and public opinion, said last week her decision to run was based on paying the resident of the city who have been good to her back.

Fired by Mayor Rich Blankenship in October 2008 for admitting to the falsification of a traffic ticket, Rist had her termination reversed by an arbitrator last month who claimed the 13-year police veteran was a “victim of disparate treatment” and that the city “had no just cause to discharge.”

The arbitrator ruled that Rist be “restored to employment immediately effective upon receipt of this decision.”

However Rist has not returned to work as the city ponders a possible appeal and its interpretation of her probation status following her pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsification.

On July 17, Ironton City Council voted 5-2 to grant Blankenship the authority to appeal the arbitrator’s decision if the mayor decided to.