Wednesday, January 23, 2013


NOTE:  The SCPR is focusing on the naming of a new Stark County sheriff.  With each new blog, The Report will include links to other blogs written since Friday, January 4th.



********** MOST RECENT BLOG **********

As of Monday, Chairman Randy Gonzalez (Stark Dems) says he has not set the time or place for determining who will replace Mike McDonald (the resigned sheriff-elect).

In recent days the supporters of the "least" political of the so far three announced candidates have surfaced.

Who would be the "least" political of the three?

Louis A. Darrow is the man!

The SCPR's assessment is that the other two candidates (Larry Dordea and George T. Maier) have a rich history of being involved in partisan politics.


A Republican through and through who in addition to wanting to be sheriff has perched himself in a partisan slot as one of two Republican councilpersons-at-large (the other being Julie Jakimedes) on the Alliance City Council.

Besides that he is police chief of largely Republican Hartville where he enjoys the support of Hartville's most prominent Republicans (e.g. Mayor Richard Currie, letter to the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal - October 17, 2012 endorsing him for sheriff).

In 2008 (versus Swanson) and 2012 (versus McDonald) he ran as the Republican candidate for Stark County sheriff.

As a Republican, Dordea has virtually no chance to get the appointment from the Stark County Central Committee later this month or some time early to mid February (within 45 days of McDonald's stepping down).

Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez has confirmed with The Report that he had received Dordea's application for the appointment.

Dordea had promised to supply the SCPR a copy of his application, but has failed to do so.

Must have forgotten?


Dordea chose a strange way indeed to promote his candidacy.

He wrote a letter to the editor to Stark County newspapers, to wit:
My sympathy and prayers have been with the McDonald family for months and it is a very sad situation that is now upon us. I have great respect for Mike’s strength and commitment but he has acknowledged that someone else must step up and take his place as sheriff. Now we must find a leader who will serve all of Stark County, not just the Republicans or the Democrats. We need a leader who is confident enough in their abilities to have announced their candidacy and shared their vision for the development of the sheriff’s office on the countywide campaign trail. I want all of Stark County to know that I have done so and I remain very willing and able to serve as your sheriff.

Having recently run for the sheriff’s office twice, I continue to maintain that my qualifications for the office provide a unique combination of experience, leadership and fiscal responsibility. I have a proven track record of aggressive law enforcement that gets results and reduces crime while maintaining fiscal responsibility. It is not often that we are forced to revisit such an important decision but we find ourselves placed in that very unfortunate situation.

The outcome of the most recent election was close with Mike McDonald receiving 89,054 votes and Lawrence Dordea receiving 82,075. I truly regret the reason that there is a scramble to appoint a new sheriff but this is a fact that will not change. I am appealing to the 82,075 people who voted for me and the others who have been left voiceless as to who the next Stark County Sheriff will be, please step up and make your voice heard. Your safety weighs in the outcome and I am ready, experienced and very capable of serving you as your sheriff.
To The Report's way of thinking, Dordea makes a persuasive case, but there is absolutely no way that Dems Chairman Gonzalez is going to preside over a second Democratic assembly (the first being selecting Republican Alex Zumbar to replace Gary Zeigler as Stark treasurer, October 19, 2011) that selects a Republican for countywide office.

If Dordea had any chance with the Dems (which The Report thinks he never did), the "going over their head to the people" will go over like a ? (yes!) a lead balloon.

You have to hand it to Dordea for making the try.

But if he is ever going to be Stark County sheriff it will have to be by winning the election in November, 2014 when the Dems' appointee must stand for retention by the voters.

Right now Dordea is waffling as to whether he will on won't be a candidate.  The SCPR's sense is that he will not be UNLESS, of course, the Dems fool everybody and appoint him.


A failure of George T. Maier (LINK: for background information for as long as he is safety director) to background) to get the appointment would be a major, major, major political blow to his brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (JAM) who is a former Stark Dems chairman and is now comfortably ensconced in the clerk of courts office in Massillon "as THE clerk" alongside his political brains Shane Jackson (son of former Stark County commissioners and Strickland administration appointee [likely engineered by JAM] Gayle Jackson).

In May, 2007 (early in the Strickland administration, Maier was appointed by the governor to be the assistant director in the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  The SCPR believes that the appointment was the handiwork of brother Johnnie who likely had favors owing from Strickland inasmuch as Johnnie was the very first party chairman to endorse Strickland in 2006 in the Democratic primary gubernatorial race.

In January, 2012 he became safety director in Massillon.

How did that happen?

Any guesses?

Brother Johnnie enters the picture once again?

Many think he and political protege Shane Jackson plucked Kathy Catazaro-Perry from relative political obscurity with the specific intent to take down long time Massillon Mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr.

And it worked!

In the 2011 Massillon Democratic primary, she ousted Cicchinelli.

A number of folks including yours truly does not think that Catazaro-Perry has the experience and the wherewithal to be an effective executive in Tigerland.

But she need not worry.

She had the Maiers to fall back on.

And the visible Maier to prop her up has been George as safety director.  There is speculation that should George become sheriff then son Michael, currently on the Massillon Police Department (ironically, on the approval of Cicchinelli) may become her new safety director.

Few doubt that she has frequent and continuing conversations with Johnnie and Shane as to how she ought to be administering the city.

But that's not quite having a Maier actually in the office next door.

Does anyone doubt George T. Maier's political connections?

The Report says that he is the odds on favorite to become Stark's next sheriff.


Lt. Louis A. Darrow of the Stark County sheriff's department (26 years) appears to the SCPR to have little, if any, political clout.

It is hard to find any political connections for Darrow.

An examination of Stark County voter registration records does show that he took a Democratic ballot in a couple of primaries for the period 1999 through 2012.

But not recent enough to be labeled by the Stark County Board of Elections as being a Democrat.   The default for one either not voting in partisan elections (such as yours truly) or within the past three years (?) is to be designated as being "non-partisan" as far as Ohio election registration records are concerned.  So Darrow appears to fall in the non-partisan category.

Hmm?  Isn't that interesting?

Most telling for Darrow is that he is the guy that the McKinley Lodge, No. 2 of the Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed for the Democratic appointment.

The same organization that endorsed Mike McDonald over Dordea.

Here is what Darrow has to say about himself.

Though he is largely nonpolitical, Darrow does have some political supporters.  However, The Report does not consider to be the equal of the Johnnie A. Maier Massillon political machine.

There is Sheriff Swanson and Massillon Law Director Perry Stergios.

Swanson is a political lame duck and likely has the personal respect of the central committeepersons but not their ears.

Surprising to see Stergios as a Darrow endorser.  The Report seems him as a cautious type that does not go out on the political limb.

Most importantly for Darrow is the SCPR's good friend: Prosecutor John Ferrero (who has strong Massillon ties).

Recently, he, through his right-hand-man John Kurtzman (his chief counsel), has been the lead in battling Mayor Catazaro-Perry on whether or not Massillon is to reduce its income tax credit to those like Fererro and Kurtzman live in Massillon but pay income taxes (between the two of them on income not that far from a-quarter-of-million-dollars) to Canton.

And believe it or not, Ferrero is winning that battle in the hearts and minds of Massillon city councilpersons.

But it is kind of weird that he does not want to spare a few extra bucks for his hometown, no?

Who says that The Report cannot find anything good to say about John Ferrero.

Here goes!

Way to go John; Darrow the non-politician a terrific choice for the highly political (in the opinion of the SCPR) John Ferrero. 

Political irony at its finest!

On mulling it over, the SCPR, after learning more about Lt. Darrow, thinks that he is the best choice of the two three candidate (sorry about that Larry) and that he is the "most" qualified when one takes politics out of the equation.

So the Dems do have a choice.

They can choose the Democrat that has police and political credentials or they can choose a guy who just wants to be a good policeman.

Despite what an area newspaper editorial board has written, many Stark Countians (certainly a goodly number votes political party) did not vote for a political party to make the selection in electing Mike McDonald last November.

These folks voted for whom they thought would the best Stark County top cop as between McDonald and Dordea.

Had McDonald said during the campaign:  "You know what, I am hopeful that my health is on the rebound and I will be able to serve out a four year term, but in case I don't - trust the Stark Democratic Party to appoint a worthy successor;"  would the results in November had been different?

The Report thinks so.  Enough people actually vote the person not the party that had they known they were in effect giving carte blanche to the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee to select Stark's next sheriff; surely Dordea would have won.

The general public is not known to trust political parties nor politicians (e.g. between 9% and 17% of the American public trusts Congress).

It is well known how utterly self-serving many if not most politicians are.

One can sense that serving the party interest and the interests of those (including family members and friends) who control the party weighs in big time over the public interest in the Stark County sheriff selection process.

There are denials all over the place.  But who believes them?

It's a long shot (Dordea has no shot at all), but with the support of the FOP, the SCPR hopes that the Stark Dems will select the non-politican Louis A. Darrow as Stark County's next sheriff.

But it is likely a hope that is between Slim and None with Slim having just left town.

No comments: