Sheriff Swanson's office recently investigated allegations that Mayor Healy had an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year old. The investigation resulted in "no charges" being filed.
The last person the Swanson should want to be seen huddled up with is Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II.
Well, to hear Mayor Healy tell it, he has all these political enemies out there who are trying to keep him from being a successful mayor of Canton. Healy implied, in various media appearances, that the allegations on the 16 year old came from among his political enemies.
If Healy is correct, might not these same political enemies bide their time until one or more of them come up with more allegations?
Well, who is to investigate?
So if Swanson is perceived in the general Stark County public to be buddy-buddy with Healy, will Swanson have to do another Gary Zeigler/Stark County treasurer's office investigation maneuver: fade into the background?
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report/SCPR) has written recently how Healy and Swanson were seen huddled up at a recently celebrity event talking for about an hour.
The point of the previous SCPR piece was that while Healy had leaned on others to pass on possible law enforcement rumors to Sheriff Swanson touching on a Canton City Councilman; Healy didn't breathe a word of it to Swanson in the one hour huddle up.
What did Healy and Swanson talk about?
The word to The Report is that Healy was seeking advice on how to deal with Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm.
The Report has frequently written about Healy's dissatisfaction with McKimm (civil service protected) which spread to Safety Director Tom Nesbitt (who continues to look for work elsewhere) when Nesbitt could not find a basis to fire McKimm which would pass muster with the Canton Civil Service Commission.
The Report has also written frequently how smart Mayor Healy is. At least in his own eyes.
Well, the celebrity event conversation was not too smart for Healy nor Sheriff Swanson.
How in the world could Healy ever make a credible presentation to the civil service folks after all his "cloak and dagger" machinations? Moreover, how could Sheriff Swanson's office possibly be the investigating agency if Healy's political enemies were to make additional future allegations?
Clearly, the Healy/Swanson duo has a constitutional right of "freedom of association" like every other American.
But then when it comes to the Sheriff doing his public job doesn't this consideration, in the light of close encounters of the type described in this blog, militate - from a public perception point-of-view - that if the Mayor should become a subject in an investigation in the future that Swanson step aside?
Isn't "being to close to the subject matter of the investigation" exactly the same kind of thing that prompted Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor to push Swanson to the sidelines in the Stark County treasury investigation?
Will Swanson ever learn to be civil and courteous but ever mindful of the need keep an appropriate distance from local politicians and public figures?