Thursday, August 5, 2010


Apparently, Stark County taxpayers are likely to be thinking, Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler wants to keep on costing the Stark County taxpayers.

Of course, Treasurer Zeigler has been saying all along that he hasn't cost Stark Countians anything.  Moreover, his supporters see him as a heroic public official who quickly and decisively acted when he learned of troubles within his office.

It appears that Zeigler through his attorneys is asking Stark County taxpayers to foot the bill for him defending himself in a lawsuit on bonds purchased at county expense (as are all bonds for county employees when required as a condition of employment by Ohio law). Moreover, as part of his defense, Zeigler seems to want taxpayers to pay for waging a fight to keep county commissioners from dismissing him from office under the provisions of Ohio Revised Code Section 321.38.

While Judge Frederick Inderlied's order does not specifically and explicitly say that taxpayers are to pay for Zeigler's legal fees, attorneys, according to custom and usage in the profession, understand "appointed" also means taxpayers pay.

Here is a copy of the order.

 Note that Zeigler added to his legal team.  He started off with Dennis Thompson of Thompson & Bishop out of  Akron.  Now, according to Inderlied's order he has added Wickens, Herzer, Panza, Cook and Batista out of Avon, Ohio

Let's do a summarization from the taxpayers' perspective as to what they are "out-of-pocket" because of moneys coming up missing from the Stark treasury:
  • $2.46 million (the theft that Frustaci has admitted to)
  • $500,000 (the approximate amount of other missing money)
  • $209,000 (the cost the post-theft Ohio Auditor's forensic audit
  • ????????? (the cost of Zeigler's attorney fees)
Many, if not most Stark Countians paying attention, and the Auditor of State Mary Taylor disagree with Treasurer Zeigler's contention that he hasn't cost Stark County taxpayers; at least, in the sense that he did not have proper checks and balances in place to prevent Vince Frustaci (Zeigler's chief deputy) to make off with 2.46 million Stark County tax dollars over the period of a number of years. 

Moreover, the SCPR believes most Stark Countians hold Zeigler accountable on the basis that "he is the man in charge" and "anything that happens on your watch is your responsibility and you need to accept the consequences."  Kind of a "the buck stops here - Harry Truman-esque" phenomenon.

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