Wednesday, April 17, 2013



In the opinion of the SCPR, it is looking awfully good that Timothy Swanson is going to be returning as Stark County sheriff.

At least until the Stark County commissioners appoint a replacement which should occur in pretty rapid order.

But first, a word of caution.

"The Supreme Court doesn't have to be right, it just has to be The Supreme Court."

If the Ohio Supreme Court follows the law as neatly laid out by Greg Beck (legal counsel for Tim), George T. Maier (the appointee of the Stark County Democratic Party on February 5, 2013) will prove to be a short time sheriff.

Of course, there i the matter of Maier's lawyers filing their brief in 20 days.

And the SCPR is excited to see what they (Roetzel & Andress) possibly could do to counter Beck's outstanding legal work filed on Monday, April 15th (LINK).

Undoubtedly, they will cobble something together.  And "cobble together" may be the appropriate expression.  For as far as yours truly can see, they do not have much to work with from the evidence submitted and in light of the Swanson brief.

It was interesting in viewing the depositions of Swanson, Maier and Harrison County Sheriff Ronald Myers, to read as Maier's attorneys quizzed Swanson about who was "really" paying for his challenge of Maier's right to stay put at 4500 Atlantic Boulevard.

Interesting?  Why?

Because Stark County taxpayers are set to pay the bill for Maier up to $20,000.

At today's Stark County commissioners meeting, commissioners are likely to approve the initial billing for Maier's attorney fees in the amount of $9,175.55

One local attorney suggests to the SCPR that if Maier loses:  the decision is likely to be that the Stark Dems' appointment will be ruled void ab initio:  a latin expression (ab initio:  "from the beginning") meaning in effect that he never was sheriff.

According to that attorney, it is likely, in the event of such a ruling, that Maier will have to foot the bill for defending his right to be in office.


From a political analysis standpoint, the SCPR believes that should Maier be turned out of office by the high court, you can bet your bottom dollar he will be running for sheriff come 2014.

And in the meantime, he likely would be returning to Massillon to be Massillon's public safety/service director, once again.  Interesting enough, his replacement (he quit February 7th to take on being sheriff) is the "interim" safety/service director.


Is brother Johnnie hedging his bets and using his influence with the Catazaro-Perry administration (his candidate for mayor in 2011 who successfully took down Johnnie's "down through the years rival:" and long time Massillon mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr.) to keep the safety/service directorship open in the sense of the mayor having named an interim appointee - just in case?

Moreover, there is another interesting tidbit.

There is speculation that Catazaro-Perry herself is looking to leave Massillon.  Things are not going well for Mayor Kathy and there is conjecture that she is negotiating with folks in Washington to become an employee of the United States Department of Transportation.


So what does that have to do with George T. Maier?

Well, the same folks who are speculating on the D.C. thing are thinking that he gets turned out as sheriff, Maier becomes mayor of Massillon.

But such is not doable under the succession scheme that Massillon is under.

If Catazaro-Perry were to step-down, the SCPR is told (by Massillonian Scott Graber, who cited the appropriate authorities referred to below) that council president Tony Townsend would become mayor until the next election cycle which depending on the timing of a resignation could be in the 2014 election cycle.

How about a scenario in which Tony Townsend becomes the Maier faction stand-in for election should Catazaro-Perry resign.

Wouldn't that be a sight to behold?

This revised/updated blog is a correction of yesterday's version of this blog in which yours truly erroneously applied Ohio Revised Code Section (ORC) 705.81 as being applicable.

However, Massillon City Council has adopted Rules of Council Rule 14 (being a ORC 731/733 city) which reads:
Rule 14.     In case of the death, resignation, or removal of the Mayor, the President of the legislative authority of the City shall become the Mayor, and shall hold the office for the unexpired term.  Thereupon the President Pro Tempore of such legislative authority shall become President thereof for the unexpired term, and shall have the same rights, duties, and powers as his predecessor.  The vacancy thus created in the legislative authority shall be filled for the unexpired term as provided in Ohio R. C. 731.43, and such legislative authority shall elect another President Pro Tempore to hold such office for the unexpired term.
In any event, the SCPR does not believe George Maier would have any interest whatsoever in being mayor if somehow it were possible in let's say an election scenario (to fill the unfilled term) should the conjecture about a Catazaro-Perry resignation materialize.

Why not?

  • he has now had the taste of being sheriff,
  • he reportedly is well liked by the deputies and has their full confidence, 
  • he has been making reforms (interesting enough, pretty much those promised by Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea had he defeated Mike McDonald in November, 2012), and
  • he has "being a policeman" in his blood.  Remember, with the Maier family police work deeply embedded in their sinews/bones going back to the family patriarch.
The SCPR believes Catzaro-Perry's speculated departure in just that (speculated) and that it is likely that Catazaro-Perry family and business circumstances are such that leaving Massillon simply does not make sense for her.

And, of course, there still is the possibility that Maier's attorneys will "pull a rabbit out of the hat" and he wins and remains Stark County sheriff.

A number of Stark Countians with law enforcement/legal community connections are impressed with Maier's de facto qualifications to be sheriff (and the SCPR agrees, except maybe for his temperament) even if the Ohio Supreme Court may well say he lacks the de jure (as a matter of law) qualifications of Ohio Revised Code Sections 311.01(8) and (9).

Moreover, they (the supportive law enforcement/law enforcement types) like how he has handled his two and one-half months in office.

So one should never forget, and as his supporters may be wishing:

"The Supreme Court doesn't have to be right, it just has to be The Supreme Court!"

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