Wednesday, November 6, 2013
BREAKING NEWS! MAIER OUSTED AS STARK COUNTY SHERIFF!!!
UPDATE: 11:55 AM
Emails on the Maier ouster are starting to come in from SCPR readers, to wit:
Thanks for today's headline on Maier.
Since he is not qualified, this puts the Democratic party in another bad light.
I think the party is in need of better leadership, and precinct committee people should demand the resignation of Gonzales [sic], who mislead the party on Maier's qualifications.
So ... does that make everything he did while in office void.
The Ohio Supreme Court in its decision reinstated Tim Swanson as Stark County sheriff.
And the high court ordered the Stark County Democratic Party to reconvene and select somebody "who is qualified" to be Stark County sheriff.
Presuming, of course, that the Democrats are not going do a repeat of appointing a Republican (i.e. Larry Dordea who ran a very competitive race against Mike McDonald) in their second effort to name a successor to McDonald, the logical choice is Lou Darrow, the main competitor to Maier back in February in losing by the narrowest of margins (84 to 92).
Darrow, being the consummate - nonpolitical - professional policeman he is, has stayed on as a captain at the Stark County sheriff's department notwithstanding that has meant he has had to work under Maier.
The SCPR would not be surprised if Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez tries to derail a renewed Darrow bid and to find someone who is not interested in running in the Democratic Party primary of May, 2014.
Certainly, George Maier, one would think, will be a candidate in that primary.
The Report is hearing that Maier will now be considered as becoming David Zink's replacement as Jackson Township police chief.
One of Maier's biggest promoters is, of course, Gonzalez (who is Jackson's highly influential "fiscal officer"). Gonzalez set aside all objectivity and to The Report's way of thinking - fairness - in chairing the meeting in which Maier was selected.
The SCPR can see a conflict developing within the trustee structure of Jackson Township if Maier were to be proposed as Zink's replacement.
Trustee James N. Walters was a key official in Larry Dordea's campaign against Mike McDonald in 2012.
It is hard to see Walters going along with a scheme to make Maier police chief as "a way station" and developing a "new" political base in largely Republican Jackson Township pending running for sheriff in November, 2014.
And Trustee Todd Hawke is a Republican.
However, The Report thinks that Hawke is closely tied to Democrat trustee John Pizzino (both reelected yesterday) and that Pizzino and Gonzalez could push him over to Maier's side and thereby marginalizing Walters.
Notwithstanding the Ohio Supreme Court standing, George T. Maier is widely respected as a competent if not superior police official.
Accordingly, even though the SCPR would see politics in such a move, Maier's law enforcement "respect factor" would make what is obviously a politically move appear to be on the merits for the citizens of Jackson Township notwithstanding that he might only be chief for less than a year.
As the SCPR has said on numerous occasions, in a de facto sense, a reasonable person would see Maier as being qualified.
Of course, we now know that in a de jure (as a matter of law), he is not.
Moreover, the SCPR questions his qualifications in terms of his temperament and not striking a proper balance between police professionalism and politics.
The latter comes from The Report's perspective on his understandable close relationship with his "political pro" brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.
Today's Supreme Court decision opens a "Pandora's box" for the likes of the Stark County Political Report to do political analysis and commentary that Stark County has not seen since the Vince Frustaci matter surfaced in April, 2009.
And the SCPR will not disappoint.
Here is an "extract" of the key points of decision in today's decision removing George T. Maier as Stark County sheriff.
Posted by Martin Olson at 9:45 AM