Thursday, November 14, 2013




A local reporter writes about "former" Sheriff George T. Maier.

Well, "former" Sheriff, "technically" speaking, is not correct.

The Ohio Supreme Court in Swanson v. Maier (quo warranto) decision as I read it is: that Maier was never sheriff of Stark County.

So how can Maier be described that being a "former" of what he never was?


You can't!

And a correction is in order.

Speaking of technicalities.

George Maier will undoubtedly appreciate the SCPR's point of dwelling on the  "technicality" that "as a matter of law" he is not entitled to be called "former sheriff."

For he is into "technicalities" in a big way in his interpretation of the Supreme Court decision that he lost.

It was "a legal technicality," George T. Maier said yesterday to a Canton radio host, that accounts for the Supreme Court having ruled as a matter of "the rule of law" that he was not qualified to be sheriff on February 5, 2013 the date on which, according to Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson (also interviewed by the same radio host), Randy Gonzalez and the official leadership of the Stark County Democratic Party ramrodded and railroaded the unqualified Maier through the selection process of the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDPCC) to become the party's appointee to the sheriff's office.

The most significant news out of yesterday's interviews is that Swanson let it out that today his attorney Greg Beck is heading to Columbus to file a Writ of Prohibition with the Supreme Court in order to block Gonzalez from making a second error.
State, ex rel. La Boiteaux Co., v. Court (1980), 61 Ohio St. 2d 60, 61
"Three conditions must exist to support the issuance of a writ of prohibition:
(1) [t]he court or officer against whom it is sought must be about to exercise judicial or quasi-judicial power,
(2) the exercise of such power must be clearly unauthorized by law, and
(3) it must appear that the refusal of the writ would result in injury for which there is no adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law."
Maier might be a little bit more than dismayed that Ohio's "court of last resort" just may once again - get technical  - with him and his legal stakeholder status and order his political handmaiden Gonzalez to have the SCDPCC limit a second go at the  appointment process to the surviving "but 'absolutely' qualified" as of February 5th candidates:
  • Democrat Lt. Lou Darrow, and 
  • Republican Hartville Chief of Police Larry Dordea.
Stark Countians should be plenty upset with Gonzalez, Johnnie A. Maier, Jr, former Stark County commissioner Gayle Jackson (who would like to be commissioner once again) and Demetreus St. John for apparently be prepared to allow the SCDPCC go on with George T. Maier being in the field of candidates on the "re-do" ordered by the Supreme Court.

They, in the opinion of the SCPR, are the responsible parties for Stark County government being destabilized by the disruption of leadership continuity at 4500 Atlantic Boulevard for having allowing the obviously unqualified Maier to be in line to be appointed in the first place.

And for Gonzalez to abandon any semblance of neutrality as the chair of the November 5th event should have been unacceptable to the central committeepersons.

In Swanson's interview (see confirming SCPR blog which refers to testimony given at deposition in Swanson v. Maier in April, 2013), he revealed that he, Gonzalez, Commissioner Thomas Bernabei met (The Meeting, which apparently occurred at Gonzalez's initiative in late December 2012, early January 2013) at the commissioners' office in anticipation of the February 5th SCDPCC meeting.  During the meeting, George Maier was brought in via the telephone.

The significance of The Meeting insofar as The Report is concerned in the request made by Gonzalez (according to Swanson) that Swanson hire George Maier for a couple days so that he could present those two days as a basis for being qualified for sheriff by virtue of two days employment "as a full-time peace officer."

Swanson:  Why hire Maier for two days?

Gonzalez's words as reported by Swanson:  "We have concerns of whether or not he is qualifed."

Well, when complying with the law is a matter of  being "a mere technicality," I guess that is what one does, no?

No need to comply with the "spirit" of the law; only the "technical" requirements of the law.


On his side of the radio interviews, Maier admits (as reported "first" by the SCPR) that he is now working in Harrison County (Cadiz, Ohio; some 50 to 60 miles from Stark County) as his attempt to cure his defective qualification to be sheriff.

When his two day routine did not go over with Swanson, Maier hot-footed it down to Harrison County (population about 16,000) to where old Ohio Highway Patrol buddy Ronald J. Myers was "good to go" on helping him at, Harrison County taxpayer expense, meet the "mere technicality" of Maier being a full-time peace officer on two days on the job.  And conveniently, the two days were on a weekend.

Only problem was is that "meeting the technicalities of the law" plan didn't go over with folks who can think there way out of "a wet paper bag" (i.e. the Ohio Supreme Court justices).

Perhaps Maier needs a new set of geniuses to go to for advice on solving his technicality problem?

The Report believes that his attempt at a new "cure" will be in vain because the February 6th date REMAINS the qualifying date.

And Maier cannot do anything to retrace is steps in qualifying as of the 6th and, accordingly, the Supreme Court likely will prohibit the SCDPCC from including Maier in a SCDPCC "re-do" of the appointment process.

Attorney and civic activist Craig Conley tells the SCPR that he plans to challenge Harrison County sheriff Ronald J. Myers (the Maier pal from his Ohio Highway Patrol days) on his use of Harrison County taxpayer money to solve George Maier's Stark County sheriff qualification problem when it is clear that Maier is not planning on working in the Cadiz area over the long haul.

Stark Countians should be upset that Gonzalez apparently tried to bootstrap Maier into qualification via the above-referenced (The Meeting) highly irregular official business-esque process that also involved Swanson, Commissioner Tom Bernabei and Maier himself.

Though he denies such, it appears to the SCPR that  Bernabei as a part of his official capacity (i.e. meeting at the commissioners' office) was weighing-in on behalf of Maier.

Holding the meeting anywhere else could be said to be one in which individuals were exercising their rights to mull over the qualification matter including its political aspects.

But in an office in the commissioners' suite of offices?

Was Bernabei's role (the focus being on Maier) appropriate in light of Darrow and Dordea also being contenders?

Of course, Swanson could be and probably should be thought as looking out looking out for the interests of his guy Lou Darrow.

But who was looking out for Republican Dordea?

Don't the commissioners have an obligation to be even handed in looking out for the individual interests of all the candidates?  Or, better yet, how about looking out "for none of the candidates?"

To Swanson's credit, he rejected Gonzalez's scheme, according to him after mulling it over for a while.

Had Swanson gone along with "the Gonzalez plan," how could he have possibly challenged Maier's qualifications and be the initiator of the quo warranto which resulted in Maier's ouster as being unqualified?

Was that part of the design of Gonzalez's grand strategy?

Include Swanson in "cure George's 'technical' qualification" solution and he is compromised to the point that he would not be in a credible position to challenge Maier's SCDPCC appointment?

One part of me says that Gonzalez is not that bright; but then there may be folks lurking in the background who are and who were directing the chairman.

Stark Countians can only "thank their lucky stars" that Swanson did not bite, no?

Here you have three Democrats (Gonzalez, Bernabei and Swanson) one of whom (Gonzalez) was definitely pitching for Maier (and the SCPR suspects that Bernabei was in Maier's corner, too) discussing what would be best for the security interests of ALL OF STARK COUNTY and Dordea has no presence.

Something seems very, very wrong about The Meeting having taken place in the seeming context of official business.

When county officials were out campaigning for the "exclusively Stark's criminal justice system" 0.5% sales tax increase, wasn't the appeal made to Democrats, Republicans, independents and persons of all political persuasions?

How is it that Stark County Democratic Party chairman Randy Gonzalez gets entree to Commissioner Bernabei in what appears to be a political undertaking given that Gonzalez participated in The Meeting in his role as Stark County Democratic Party chairman?

Since Maier's appointment, Bernabei has been an "uncritical" supporter which makes me think that perhaps Bernabei is being just a tad coy and disingenuous about his role in The Meeting.

For Bernabei to know that Maier was out spending taxpayer dollars ($13,671) and "not to lift a finger" to intervene when it was pretty obvious that Maier was not going to be sheriff once the Supreme Court weighed-in is interesting.

Such a posture coming from Bernabei is very surprising to me.

Bernabei is known for his sharp mind and his "in constant analytic mode" way of being.

Has there been a breakdown in his normal "nothing goes unvetted" as Bernabei's "standard operating procedure" in the case of Maier?

What is going on here?

Remember that Janet Creighton and Thomas Bernabei made a really big deal out being transparent, accountable, communicative and accessible when they came into office as a result of the November, 2010 elections which was before what Craig Conley likes to call "Zeiglergate" was fully resolved.

From what I can see, they deserve high grades for, by and large, following through on their rhetoric.

But they are not perfect.

Not to get "too technical," but is this an instance that Commissioner Bernabei fell short on his "technical marks" of heretofore governance excellence in participating in The Meeting?

But then he is not a professional ice skater!

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