UPDATE: 11:40 AM
AN "OFF THE RECORD" (FOR ATTRIBUTION) COMMENT:
Just read your blog and it would be interesting to see Scott appointed to the Canton Municipal Judge position. He would be able to up his salary for the next five years, assuming he gets reelected and since the PERS system now looks at the past five years for retirement purposes. Next, Kirk Schuring could then take Scott's senate seat, and then Curt Werren could be appointed as state representative in a safe district.
In appointing president of the Stark County chapter of the American Red Cross (Curtis Werren) to the Stark County Court of Common Pleas bench in June, 2013, Republican governor John Kasich showed how utterly political he is.
Werren had not practiced law for several years.
But that didn't bother Kasich one iota.
He chose the politically connected but "unqualified" (in the opinion of the SCPR) fellow Republican Werren over the eminently qualified but Democrat Stark County chief deputy prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett for the retiring judge V. Lee Sinclair's replacement.
It appears that Stark County's voters have corrected the Werren appointment over Hartnett with the official and certified vote count from November 4th's election showing Hartnett with a 131 vote lead.
The contest is subject to a recount. But it is highly unlikely that it will precipitate a change.
The primacy of politics over merit is nothing new for Kasich in filling judgeships is nothing new to the governor.
This from a May, 2013 Columbus Dispatch article:
As the Franklin County legal community gathers today for a seminar on attracting qualified candidates for judgeships, a local Democratic leader is questioning the qualifications of the Republican governor’s two latest judicial appointments.It could be that Kasich will give Werren "a second bite at the apple."
Colleen O’Donnell, appointed to the Franklin County Common Pleas Court, and Amy O’Grady, appointed to the county Court of Appeals, appear to have been chosen because of their names, not their experience, said Greg Haas, county Democratic chairman.
“Other than their names, it’s not immediately obvious why they were selected,” he told The Dispatch.
O’Donnell, 32, is the daughter of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terence O’Donnell. O’Grady, 38, is the wife of Franklin County Municipal Judge Jim O’Grady and the daughter-in-law of retired Franklin County Judge James J. O’Grady. She is not related to county Commissioner John O’Grady, a Democrat.
Gov. John Kasich appointed Colleen O’Donnell and Amy O’Grady last week from among names submitted by the county Republican Party as recommendations for judicial vacancies. Both must run in 2014 for the right to complete the terms, which run through 2016.
If he does; hopefully, on November 3, 2015, Canton Municipal Court voters will once again reverse the governor.
It could be that he will not give Werren a second chance to be a judge.
The SCPR is hearing that North Canton law director Tim Fox has applied to the governor to be the recently resigned Stephen Belden's replacement.
Belden, reported to be under investigation by Ohio Disciplinary Counsel, has announced his resignation.
The Report is also hearing that State Senator Scott Oeslager (Republican - the 29th Ohio Senate District which includes most of Stark County) has applied.
Oelslager, a graduate of the Capital University Law School in 2002, hasn't practiced very much if any law. In the fuzzy memory of the SCPR, he reportedly had joined up with the highly Democrat Steve Okey's law firm a number of years ago. As far as The Report knows the combo did not work out and there is no longer an association.
But not having had much of a practice of law but politically astute or connected seems to be a virtue with Governor Kasich insofar as "leaping to the front of the class" for a Kasich judicial appointment.
One political wag the SCPR has spoken to thinks that should Kasich be dissatisfied with Oelslager as chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee, making him a judge might be a win-win way for Oelslager to land the appointment.
And, as the winner of many of a Stark County election as state representative and state senator since the 1980s playing musical chairs with Kirk Schuring on the Stark County senate seat and the Jackson Township centered Ohio House district (as a way to deal with term limits), it is hard to imagine that any Democrat could defeat him next November.
If Kasich is to make yet another politics based appointment better Oelslager over North Canton law director Tim Fox.
As readers of the SCPR know, The Report has written many blogs detailing the arbitrary and capricious ways in which Fox as operated as law director.
Making him a judge would be like making bully a policeman.
He'd be right up there with, if not worse than, Democrat Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge Frank Forchione and Republican Stark County Probate Court judge Dixie Park as outright imperial autocrats who seem to think they rank right up there with God Almighty in terms of absolute authority.
The SCPR hopes it is true that Fox has applied and according to one source is a cinch to get the judgeship.
First, between now and the November, 2015 election a Fox appointment would provide the SCPR with ample material to write blogs on.
Though he does have six years as a practicing attorney with Black, McCuskey which, by the way:
- is the law firm of Randy Snow
- whom is the father of North Canton councilwoman Stephanie Snow Werren
- whom was appointed to replace Tim Fox as Ward 3 council person who had served a mere matter of months as councilman
- whom also is the wife of Curtis Werren
- whom may get a second chance at a Kasich judicial appointment
- which, ironically, may put an end to the judicial ambitions f Law Director Tim Fox for now anyway
- SCPR POINT OF INTEREST: Isn't interesting how "incestuous" the Republican line up for political appointments is?
- Of course, the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party leadership matches in not exceeds the Republicans on this score.
- That both parties do it should not be any solace to everyday Stark Countians. "Inside the political family stuff" is "increasingly" turning ordinary Stark Countians against both political parties and thereby puts our cherished democratic-republic's longevity in jeopardy, so the SCPR thinks
But work in collections is hardly the background that one would hope for in selecting in judge, no?
The Stark County Political Report does not know much about Guardado. The Report is told by Republican and Democrat lawyers alike that Guardado is first rate and would make an excellent judge.
The Report's preference is number 2 in command at the Canton Law Department Deputy Chief Counsel Kristen Bates-Alyward. However, the SCPR is told that she is "absolutely" not interested.
A Fox appointment would solve the problem of a group of North Canton citizen activist who have battled with Fox over his interpretation of the law on:
- public records,
- on heath care and other ordinances,
- the legality of council procedures in force on his advice,
- on North Canton employee comp. time
On reflection, in Kasich is not about to appoint a merit candidate (let's say Kristen Guardado), then maybe Fox would be the best choice.
To repeat, a Fox appointment
- rids the Concerned Citizens of North Canton of "the bane of their existence" and
- the chances of Fox and his sketchy legal experience and the baggage of imperiality he has accumulated in North Canton government of being defeated next November loom large.
Appoint Tim Fox to be Belden's replacement on the Canton Municipal Court!!!
A Fox appointment will likely ultimately result in a merited person becoming Canton Municipal Court judge and North Canton government settling down, no?