The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) just learned from multiple highly reliable sources that the Stark County commissioners will remove Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler in a specially called meeting for Monday at 3:00 PM.
Under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 321.38 the commissioners "may" remove the county treasurer (Zeigler, in Stark County's case) once a lawsuit under ORC Section 321.37 has been instituted by the county prosecutor.
The SCPR has learned that Stark County Prosecutor was to have filed a ORC 312.37 lawsuit this afternoon at 3:00 PM.
Speaking of Prosecutor Ferrero, the Stark County commissioners have to be hugely displeased with him on account of his advice, very publicly made, that the commissioners could not proceed until Vince Frustaci (who admitted to stealing $2.46 million from the Stark treasury in federal court on June 25th) is sentenced on September 7th.
Yours truly never believed that story. Nor did the civic minded Attorney Craig T. Conley who by persistence forced Ferrero's hand into acting today to bring a legal action which is a precondition to the commissioners removing Zeigler.
Conley should be seen as a heroic figure to Stark Countians in pushing the resolution of what he calls Zeiglergate. He is doing this work pro bono (for the public good - no fee charged).
The Report is pleased to see that the editors of The Repository recognize Conley's key role in getting Ferrero moving (How much worse can this mess get?, July 28, 2010), to wit:
County commissioners have just been outwitted by the attorney for a private citizen who’s suing Treasurer Gary Zeigler over the $2.96 million that is missing from Zeigler’s office.But they should not blame the commissioners. They were relying on Ferrero's advice. What? Should they have hired private legal counsel and defied their government attorney and legal adviser?
Attorney Craig Conley had warned commissioners and county Auditor Kim Perez that he’d ask the Ohio Supreme Court to intervene if they didn’t immediately sue Zeigler themselves to start the process of recovering the money.
The SCPR salutes Conley for his terrific work for the Stark County citizenry.
The Report has also learned that Zeigler and his legal counsel may be consider instituting proceeds to get a judge with jurisdiction to block any removal action by commissioners.
The commissioners are to appoint a replacement if they decide to remove Zeigler.
A good candidate to replace Zeigler would be Canton Auditor office employee Gary Young. He is one of the top administrators in Canton and is respected by organized Republicans and Democrats alike for his "no-nonsense" style of administration and for his high degree of integrity.
The SCPR has spoken to Young and he says that a number of folks have brought the idea of the possibility of his being a candidate for the selection.
Young did not rule out his availability to The Report. But he is not soliciting support for the position either.
Let's see if the commissioners have the ability to pick Young or someone of his caliber. It is time for the turmoil surrounding the Stark County treasury to end. A time of healing is in order.
To the commissioners:
Take Charita Goshay's (columnist at The Rep), put political considerations aside, and endeavor to pick the very best person you can find as the successor to Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler!!!