ELYRIA — A local judge recused himself from the case of a former trooper facing charges of falsification and forgery.
In a court entry Friday, Judge Chris Cook cited “that a conflict exists due to the identity of the defendant,” Corey Resendez, 28, of Lorain.
Resendez pleaded not guilty Thursday after being indicted last week on a fifth-degree count of forgery and a first-degree misdemeanor count of falsification. He was scheduled to appear in court Friday before Cook.
In the recusal entry, Cook said the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct mandates recusal of a judge in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned or where a person within the third degree of relationship is likely to be a material witness in the proceedings.
“While this court is not particularly familiar with the defendant, it is very familiar with his family,” Cook said in the entry. “Accordingly, in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the court hereby recuses itself from this matter.”
Resendez’s father, Richard Resendez, is a former Lorain police officer and former captain with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department who ran for county commissioner and Lorain County sheriff.
Cook said he expects Judge Raymond Ewers, the administrative judge for the Lorain County Common Pleas Court’s General Division, will request a visiting judge be brought in to handle the case.
Corey Resendez was placed on administrative leave by the Ohio Highway Patrol in February. The patrol said the action was taken so investigators could conduct an internal review into whether the trooper had made traffic stops and claimed traffic citations were issued when warnings were issued instead, potentially altering his enforcement statistics.
On April 5, Corey Resendez resigned from the patrol, for which he had worked nearly seven years since graduating from the agency’s academy in August 2012, according to a two-sentence form resignation letter released by the patrol.
Corey Resendez was released on a personal recognizance bond last week.