Monday, January 9, 2012
STARK COUNTY PROSECUTOR RACE - VOLUME 1 - POLITICAL NEOPHYTE THINKS HE CAN UNSEAT PROSECUTOR FERRERO. HMM?
Recently retired as chief legal counsel for the Babcock & Wilcox Company headquartered in Charlotte, NC but with key facilities just up the road for Canton and Stark County in Barberton, Lake resident Micheal J. Grady thinks he is a realistic hope for Stark County Republicans to wrestle the Stark County prosecutor's office from the Democrats come this fall.
The SCPR thinks that it should have been a slam dunk for the Stark GOP to have done so given what many view in a less that stellar performance by Prosecutor John Ferrero's office in the handling of the civil side of the Vince Frustaci (former chief deputy of the Stark County treasurer who sits in federal prison for having stolen what some think was nearly $3 million in Stark County taxpayer money) engendered "confidence in Stark County government" which lingers to this very day.
Despite a voluminous report by the state of Ohio Auditor's office (OA) expressing opinion to the contrary, the then Stark County treasurer - Gary D. Zeigler denied he had done anything wrong in the management of the treasury in terms of practices, policies and infrastructure structure so as to prevent thefts like that pulled off by Frustaci.
Ferrero's office had the responsibility to provide legal advice and representation to the Stark County commissioners as they endeavor to remove Zeigler from office (by virtue of ORC 321.38) and to recover bond and insurance monies as well as Ohio statutory imposed personal liability (ORC 321.37) on Zeigler himself in order to make Stark County taxpayers whole on the loss.
The Report has been discussing for some time with various Republicans as to who the Republicans were going to put up against Democrat John Ferrero (who was appointed prosecutor by Stark Democrats in 2003 when then prosecutor and Democrat Bob Horowitz became Stark County Probate Court judge).
The Democrats have held the prosecutor's office since 1985 when, in November, 1984, Horowitz defeated Republican Rick Ketler (who had served in the administration of the last Republican - Jim Unger - to hold the office) in a very close race. Prior to 1985, the Republicans had held the office for many years witness the names Jim Unger, David Dowd and Norm Putman.
It became apparent early on to the SCPR from the tone of the conversations that the Republicans were probably going to blow this opportunity.
With the selection of Grady, The Report thinks that it is likely that Ferrero is going to survive his office's lackluster performance in handling the civil aspects of what local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley (also a Republican candidate for county commissioner against Democrat Commissioner Tom Bernabei) has termed as being "Zeiglergate."
Although Grady has impressive credentials as having been a lawyer for the Babcox & Wilcox Company which had its origin in Barberton, he lacks experience in holding public office and, more importantly in terms of gaining office in the first place, in how to run an effective political campaign.
This blog is the first in a series that the SCPR will be running between now and November of several key races that are likely to be competitive.