UPDATE: (Thursday: 07:40 AM) Sheriff Swanson denies persistent reports that he is about to resign. See e-mail exchange below:
T (SCPR/The Report) has been hearing reports from a couple of sources that Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson may be about ready to resign.
If true, this turn of events would be a surprise. For Swanson was reelected a little over six months ago (November, 2008) to a new four year term.
He announced (as required by law) before running that he would retire at the end of 2008 and thereby qualify for retirement benefits and then take up office again on January 1, 2009 - if reelected.
Both reports originated with law enforcement officers.
The Report is hearing that Swanson has not been around lately at headquarters on Atlantic Boulevard and that Chief Deputy Rick Perez is running the department.
The SCPR has sent an inquiry to Swanson via e-mail, but has not received a response.
One law enforcement source tells The Report that he has heard three or four different reports that Swanson is considering stepping down over the last couple of weeks.
The other law enforcement source who is reportedly a deputy serving under Swanson has relayed the reputed impending resignation information to an elected official who in turn passed it on to yours truly.
If the reports are accurate, then the question becomes who succeeds Swanson.
An obvious choice would be Chief Deputy Rick A. Perez who has retired from the department but then rehired. He is the brother of Stark County auditor Kim Perez who is a powerful figure in the Stark County Democratic Party.
A Perez appointment would have to be by majority vote of the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee. That committee is set to select the replacement for former party chair Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. who quit as chairman on June 1st.