LATEST UPDATE: 6:13 AM
The Report learned last night that the complaint for Writ of Prohibition centers on sheriff candidate George T. Maier qualification for the office under Ohio Revised Code Section (ORC) 311.01.
Under ORC 311.01(B)(9), candidates/appointees for sheriff have two paths, to wit:
(a) Has at least two years of supervisory experience as a peace officer at the rank of corporal or above, or has been appointed pursuant to section 5503.01 of the Revised Code and served at the rank of sergeant or above, in the five-year period ending immediately prior to the qualification date;In his writ, Darrow asserts:
(b) Has completed satisfactorily at least two years of post-secondary education or the equivalent in semester or quarter hours in a college or university authorized to confer degrees by the Ohio board of regents or the comparable agency of another state in which the college or university is located or in a school that holds a certificate of registration issued by the state board of career colleges and schools under Chapter 3332. of the Revised Code.
Among the interesting tidbits that have come out in recent hours present a picture of Maier scurrying since McDonald's vacating on January 3rd of his position as sheriff-elect to meeting the criteria listed in subsection a listed above.
Intriguing along these lines is a statement made by Maier early on in the speculation as to whether or not he was going to pursue becoming sheriff is the following:
- Maier said Thursday [January 10, 2012] that since he hasn’t applied for the position, he was not prepared to talk about the requirements for the job. He refuted rumors that he does not meet all of the qualifications. He said he’s confident that he does.
- “I guarantee I’ll be qualified for the position or I won’t apply for it,” Maier said.
Readers will recall that the SCPR reported on the day of his swearing in as interim sheriff to the media including yours truly that he had questions as to Maier's qualifications. But he did say at the time that he thought that Maier would make a good sheriff if he was qualified.
Failing the Stark County-based effort of the criteria of ORC 311.01(B)(9)(a), The Report has learned that Maier then turned to an out-of-county sheriff who is reported to have accommodated him in putting him on, get this, "full-time, but inactive" status.
Regarding subsection (b) of ORC 311.01(B): The Report has received information alleging that Maier has been working with Stark State College officials to meet the post-secondary education standard on the basis of getting college credit for past professional training and enrolling at Stark State for the 2013 spring semester for 12 credit hours as a route to qualification.
From the writ:
The Report has learned that Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez plans to go forward with tonight's (5:30 PM at the Mayfield Senior Center) unless and until he gets a court order to the contrary.
A bone of contention in the writ disputation zeros in on his having endorsed Maier:
The concern on the part of the Darrow forces, one would think, is that as chairman and conducting the meeting and potentially making rulings on motions for this action or that action that Gonzalez, if in fact he is committed to the Maier candidacy, might not make fair rulings.
Self-style Massillon parliamentarian Scott Graber of Massillon has been in the thick of things on the conduct of tonight's meeting and is part of a movement that is pushing for the central committeepersons to be permitted by the chair of the meeting to have a secret ballot vote.
In his activity in this regard, he has received an e-mail from one Bill Demora, consultant to the Ohio Democratic Party and until recently secretary of the state Democratic executive committee.
In his email, he declared his intention to be at the Mayfield Center meeting to ensure:
that the process tomorrow is done according to the rules of the Ohio Democratic Party.Moreover, he states:
The ODP oversees each of the 88 local county parties and when circumstances arise that warrant, may and will make sure that all rules are followed.Interesting, no?
The SCPR was at Canton City Council's meeting last night and had a moment to talk with Canton's safety director Tom Ream about developments at the Ohio Supreme Court earlier in the day and more specifically his thoughts on the quality of politically viable candidates Darrow and Maier.
Ream, who is a central committeeman himself, said that he knows both well and that he is satisfied that either would make a good sheriff.
Ream himself considered applying for the appointment. However, he told The Report, after talking with Chairman Gonzalez and learning that other qualified candidates were on board in seeking the office, he decided not to apply.
Who will Ream support as between Darrow and Maier?
He says that he has not decided. He plans on listening to the presentations by both candidates tonight and make up his mind after mulling over what they had to say.
One final SCPR thought.
As laid out in Monday's blog (LINK) on this topic, given the responses to SCPR inquiries to the Stark County Board of Elections (Jeanette Mullane) and the board's attorney (Debbie Dawson), one has to wonder whether or not Ohio elections officials and local election officials have properly implemented the law in terms of "all" of the candidates' qualifications being vetted?
Hopefully, this process has been or will be put at issue in Darrow's writ.
ORIGINAL BLOG - 02/04/2012
The Stark County Political Report has learned from a highly reliable source (confirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court's online docket listing) that Louis A. Darrow, who is a lieutenant with the Stark County Sheriff Department, sent legal counsel to Columbus today to file an action in the Ohio Supreme Court to stop proceedings scheduled for tomorrow night (5:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Senior Center) to select a successor to Mike McDonald who after being elected in November had to step aside on January 3rd from taking office on the 7th due to an unspecified illness.
The Report does not yet have a copy of the Writ of Prohibition which was filed late today.
Darrow is one of three applicants to the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee for appointment to the sheriff vacancy.
Massillon Safety Director George T. Maier and Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea (the Republican candidate who lost to McDonald) are also applicants.