Court Roundup

Ohio: Judge wants unruly man’s mouth taped 
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has been sentenced to more than seven months in jail for outbursts before a judge who wants the man’s mouth covered by tape when he returns to court.

Twenty-six-year-old Duniek Christian of Youngstown appeared Friday before Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Kobly (KOH’-blee) on a charge of obstructing official business and a traffic offense.

His courtroom behavior led the judge to repeatedly hold him in contempt. The (Youngstown) Vindicator says Kobly ordered his mouth taped when he returns to court.

The judge told the newspaper she can’t talk about the matter while the charges are pending in her court. A message seeking comment was left at her office Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio suggested alternatives such as a closed-circuit TV court hearing from jail.

Pennsylvania: Mayor of tiny  town charged with ‘numbers’
FAYETTE CITY, Pa. (AP) — The mayor of a tiny southwestern Pennsylvania borough says he’s being falsely accused of taking “numbers” bets at a newsstand he owns.

Herbert Vargo Jr., the mayor of Fayette City, tells The Associated Press on Wednesday, “I will see my day in court, these are false allegations.”

But, according to a state police affidavit first reported by the Herald-Standard newspaper in Uniontown, Vargo took his own bets on lottery numbers and paid out winners. State police say they found Vargo’s records of winners and payoffs — and $59,300 in a lockbox under his bed.

Vargo faces preliminary arraignment on the gambling charges Feb. 17 and a preliminary hearing Feb. 25.

Fayette City has about 700 residents and is located about 25 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.