Thursday, December 3, 2009


The SCPR always loves it when a public figure retires.

Why is that?

Well, let's put it this way.

Anyone who serves in a public capacity for a long period of time has his/her admirers and has his/her detractors.

Even Dragovich has a handle on this reality.  In a letter of resignation, effective November 30th, Dragovich told Mayor Ed Tucker "in reflect[ing] over the past 32 years of service to Hartville, over the ups and downs of my career,.. ."  (emphasis added).

For yours truly, who has lived in Uniontown (next door to Hartville) for 34 years, the name George Dragovich is a very familiar name.  He is like an institution in Lake Township.  For most of his 32 years, Dragovich has had more ups than downs.

Of late, the "downs" seem to have taken over for Dragovich and the SCPR has been encouraging him to retire while Hartville residents still have fond memories of him.

The "downs" apparently started when Dragovich got on the outs with former Hartville mayor Beverly Green back in 2004 when Beverly Green became mayor of Hartville.

According to a Repository piece by Edd Pritchard, Green was likely disaffected about Dragovich from the day she took office because of an incident described thusly by Pritchard (Officials wage turf war,  October 6, 2006):
A month before Green became mayor, Dragovich left Giant Eagle without paying for two small candles and was stopped by a store security. Dragovich said he put the candles in his pocket accidentally and forgot to pay before going outside to handle a radio call. Former Mayor Owen Stoll gave Dragovich a verbal reprimand.
In the fall of 2006, the "under the radar" rocky start between Green and Dragovich showed up big on the radar screen when the mayor and police chief got into a public confrontation as to who sets the rules for the management and operation of the Hartville PD.

Dragovich sued Green in her capacity as mayor and ultimately the case got solved within mediation whereby Dragovich was given authority to run the Hartville Police Department.

Issues over?


In July, 2007 Dragovich was involved in another publicly reported incident, again, a Repository account:
According to witnesses, Dragovich was at the Speedway store when he approached a woman, pulled out a pocket knife and suggested that he could remove a tattoo from the woman�s arm. Store employees reported the incident to another Hartville police officer.
On the heels of this incident, Green placed Dragovich on administrative leave and endeavored to have Draogvich fired.

The Dragovich controversy played big in the November, 2007 mayoralty election and likely resulted in Green's defeat and Dragovich's immediate reinstatement by the new mayor (Tucker) in January, 2008.

However, it wasn't long before Dragovich was involved in another public controversy.  In March, 2009,

Here is an excerpt from the Hartville News that reports a summary of Dragovich's most recent "down:"

According to the Burnett article, Dordea, as acting chief, did place Bardwell on administrative leave.  Undoubtedly, Dordea's position would be that the suspension was purely a police supervision function.  And that is the correct place for Dordea to be in.

In the opinion of the SCPR, Larry Dordea is a first rate police officer and is a step up from George Dragovich (2004 through 2009 version).  He needs to stay out  of Hartville politics.

A main reason that the SCPR likes Dordea is that he appears to have the pursuit of justice as his primary aim and, though he understands the reality of politics, he is able to "rise above politics" and do and pursue justice irrespective of a person's station in life and/or their political connections.

Here is a video of Mayor Edsel Tucker providing background on Dordea coming to town, his swearing-in and his comments after the swearing-in.

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