Earlier today the SCPR did a blog to the effect that putative Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler (not officially treasurer because he is requited to get a bond by Ohio law) paid a visit to the Stark County treasury yesterday and took up his place in the treasurer's office within the treasury office complex located on the second floor of the Stark County Office Building.
Moreover, The Report shared a story with readers as told to yours truly by a highly reliable source (which The Report now believes was embellished by the source, as even the best of human beings are wont to do here and there) in which Zeigler was said to be without a computer and a telephone while at the office.
Today, The Report, Nancy Molnar of the Akron Beacon Journal and Kelli Young of The Repository held an impromptu news conference with Auditor Harold after the Stark County commissioners' weekly Wednesday meeting. Harold had come into the commissioners meeting early on during the session.
A focus of the news conference was a list that Harold is compiling about all the changes that have been made in the Stark treasury and Stark auditor's office since Gary Zeigler was removed as treasurer by commissioners on August 23rd and Kim Perez's relinquishing of office in March of this year (having been defeated by Harold in last November's general election).
Near the end of the conference, Molnar asked (obviously referring to the SCPR blog on the matter) Harold whether or not it was true that Zeigler was without a computer and telephone during his brief visit to the Stark treasury on Tuesday.
Answer: Not true, Zeigler had both a computer and telephone.
Yours truly was astounded to hear him say that.
For what appeared in the first blog was as the tale (Zeigler: no computer, no telephone) was told to The Report by an impeccable source (in terms of being in a position to know).
As it turns out (see Harold's explanation in the video press conference below), in the effective sense, Zeigler was without a computer because when it gets turned on all one gets is a log-on screen that requires a password to gain access to office/county files and presumably the county network. Well, Zeigler's was terminated on his removal back in August, 2010.
So yes, Zeigler could turn the computer on, but that was it.
Harold goes on to say that had Zeigler contacted him for a new password he (Harold) would not have issued it because he is unbonded and therefore not treasurer and not entitled participate in county business as a public official/employee.
Although the telephone was operative on Tuesday, according to Harold today, (contrary to what The Report was clearly told by the source on Tuesday evening) sometime Wednesday morning Harold had his Informational Technology folks take the office phone of the treasurer out of the loop (in other words: deadened it). Harold seems to suggest in the video that this was part of a countywide review of needed phones and that unused phones are taken out of the loop.
Taking Harold at his word, the SCPR finds it more than coincidental that what The Report was told on Tuesday evening about earlier in the day Tuesday about Zeigler's phone status became reality on Wednesday morning.
So if Zeigler were to visit his office tomorrow, he would not have access to a "live" telephone in the office he called home as treasurer over the past ten years or so. Nor will Harold reconnect the telephone unless and until he is presented with a bond from Gary Zeigler.
The SCPR stands by the account given (in terms of its substance as delivered by the source) in the first blog on whether or not Zeigler had access to a computer and telephone during Tuesday's visit to the Stark treasury.
As stated above, it is clear to The Report that the Tuesday source account was an embellishment. Such is the life of anyone who deals with public figures.
Whenever the SCPR learns of misstatements, embellishments, et cetera from sources, The Report will be quick to set the record straight.
Here is Auditory Alan Harold in his own words: