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Josh Mandel faces prison time for divorce

According to court documents, former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and his ex-wife face contempt of court and seven days in the Ashland County Jail.

Mandel, who served as state treasurer for eight years and made several unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate, and Ilana Mandel are fighting over the time they spend as parents, over control of their three children's college savings accounts, over the sporting events of the Children and allegations that they had registered each other home without permission.

Ashland County Common Pleas Court Judge Paul Lange found them both in contempt and threatened them with prison time if they don't comply with orders in the next four months. If they comply with the orders, they can file a motion to have the contempt of court findings removed.

The couple filed for divorce in April 2020 in Ashland County, where neither lives. The court dissolved the marriage in June 2020.

In May 2023, the two returned to court to renegotiate parental rights and responsibilities, and the court reached an agreement in November 2023. But shortly afterward, both sides said her ex had begun violating the court agreement.

A fight for open records

The Mandels persuaded Ashland County Judge Ronald Forsthoefel, a Republican, to seal the couple's dissolution records, which included details of their income, assets and shared parenting plan.

In February 2021, The Cincinnati Enquirer sued to release the records to the public. The newspaper won the lawsuit in October 2022 when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Forsthoefel had wrongfully agreed to the sealing of records.

When Mandel was running in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in February 2021, he shared redacted copies of the file with political reporters in Ohio, including the Enquirer.

Who is Josh Mandel?

After serving on the Lyndhurst City Council, Mandel ran for the Ohio House in 2006 and served two terms before running for state treasurer in 2010. Just months after being sworn in as treasurer, Mandel announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. He lost to Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012 and ran for re-election as state treasurer in 2014. He was poised to take on Brown again in 2018, but abruptly dropped out, saying he needed to take care of his wife's health.

In May 2022, Mandel lost the Republican primary to JD Vance and largely disappeared from the public eye.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which covers the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

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