Monday, February 24, 2014


02/24/2014 AT 7:00 AM























When the SCPR was politically proximate to Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (2002 through 2006), one of things, seemingly, to oft come out of the mouth of the "Mount Sinai of Stark County Democratic Party" (SCDP) politics was that anybody who differed with Johnnie (JAM) - to put it simply - was crazy.

That is one of the labels (an example of deep thinking, no?) that he has ascribed to the SCPR (in an e-mail which The Report has a copy of) is that The Report is crazy. 

And the label may not even have been generated by Maier himself.

It may come from "R." Shane Jackson, the Stark County Democratic Party political director who owes his livelihood to Maier as Maier's chief deputy clerk of courts and, who, at last check, makes more money in that post than the mayor of Massillon.

The Report has been - literally - "screamed at"  (at a "for state representative Celeste DeHoff rally in October, 2008, LINK) and - figuratively - "screamed at" via e-mail (LINK).

Moreover, in the my pre-SCPR days, I have witnessed Jackson go into a number of political diatribes against various Democrats who were not in sync with the Maier/Jackson political machine.

Shane is "the authorized" deep thinker for "all things Stark County Democratic Party" and if you do not believe the SCPR just ring up Shane and ask him - himself.

(Note:  Another favorite tactic of JAM/Jackson is to "label" those who differ with them as being "evil" incarnate)

All the foregoing brings the SCPR to the point of a definition of "crazy" which "rational" people subscribe to:

Okay, Martin, what is the point?

Here goes.


The Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. political juggernaut is currently embarked on a "political power play" to force his brother George T. Maier (GTM) in as Stark County sheriff?


Yesterday, JAM et al suffered yet another setback in a series of "political power play failures" as the Stark County Board of Elections deadlocked in a 2 to 2 tie (Republicans Braden and Cline against GTM;  Democrats Ferruccio and St. John for GTM).
  •  SCPR Note - Maier's political advisers' list of failures:
    • Not convincing Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero that he is qualified under the standards of ORC 311.01 that he is qualified to be Stark County sheriff,
      • and, apparently, believing that Ferrero would not be able to file a sworn affidavit to that effect in the light of Ferrero's political history and connections (i.e. a former Stark Dems chairman and, likely, a with future political aspirations as a Democrat,
    • Not convincing interim Sheriff Tim Swanson that there were inadequate legal bases for asking the Ohio Supreme Court to oust Maier as a usurper Stark County Democratic Party Central Commmitee appointed sheriff,
      • and, apparently, believing that Swanson would sail off in to the sunset of Florida's gulf coast to never again be concerned with Stark County government and politics,
    • Not convincing the Ohio Supreme Court through (according to the understanding of the Stark County commissioners) quo warranto expert Thomas Rosenberg of Roetzel and Andress/Columbus, Ohio that he is qualified to be Stark County sheriff,
It would be surprising to the SCPR, if the Maier, Jr. group and its "power play" political model  is not in for another failure in the coming days as the lot now falls to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to break the tie.

(SCPR Note:  ORC 3501.11(X):  In all cases of a tie vote or a disagreement in the board, if no decision can be arrived at, the director or chairperson shall submit the matter in controversy, not later than fourteen days after the tie vote or the disagreement, to the secretary of state, who shall summarily decide the question, and the secretary of state's decision shall be final.
  • The SCPR thinks that there is plenty of legal grist for Husted to base a decision denying Maier ballot status upon.  
    • Undoubtedly, there will be those (who The Report thinks will be the pro-Maier side of the Balas-Bratton protest) who will question the basis of the Secretary's decision "as a being a 'politics based' decision," (i.e. a Republican secretary of state siding with Stark County Republican BOE members Braden and Cline).  
    • For all of us who believe in "the rule of law," the expectation is that the Secretary will avail himself of the solid case that Balas-Bratton attorney Craig T. Conley put together at yesterday's hearing and "run with it."
    • If he does, his decision - obviously, in the opinion of the SCPR - withstand the "certain to come" Ohio Supreme Court challenge to his decision. 
      • Should he see things differently than the SCPR does on the merits of the legal arguments made and side with Democrats Ferruccio and St. John, he needs to assess that Ferruccio's legal arguments in support of his decision (not Rosenberg's take on the case) are more compelling than Conley's and therefore likely to be sustained by the Supreme Court.
        • It goes without saying that should he decide with the Democrats, that "political bias" is "out-the-window."  However, there will be a legal challenge from the Balas-Bratton side, nonetheless.
The last thing that Stark County needs now is more "instability" on the "who will be Stark County sheriff in futuro.

In short, the SCPR's bottom-line position is that the Secretary must make his decision supportable in law.

If he does so, his ruling should easily withstand any legal challenge.

Boards of Elections as they are presently constructed (the "Cold-War" model) are not changing anytime soon.

For the stability and certainty of Ohio's elections, it is critically important that when Boards of Elections (and the Secretary himself) make decisions, they do so consistent with "the rule of law;" not one which satisfies the political druthers of affected persons and political parties.


Power politics (or as some say "the big bluff," likely fails for the Maier political group as controllers of  the Stark County "organized" Democratic Party.

The Stark County Democrats, who have controlled the sheriff's office for 20 years (in the modern era), may not have a candidate in the November, 2014 election.


Can you imagine Republican Larry Dordea waltzing into office unopposed?


Larry Dordea ain't no Robert Berens and the SCPR thinks he is likely to do well as sheriff and have the foresight to prepare a respected and politically adroit successor so that the Republicans maintain their grip on the sheriff's office for years to come.


As it turns out, Robert C. Berens was a Stark County Republican Party nightmare as Stark County sheriff circa 1981 through 1984.
  • Berens was an "insurance industry" person who appears to have been ill-prepared to be a sheriff,
  • Here is an Internet LINK to an account of the turmoil that seems to have wracked the Berens sheriff's office administration during Berens' years,
But at the time, the Republicans were beside themselves in political joy in that in November, 1980 Berens (an insurance man) took down a yesteryear icon of Stark County Democratic Party "power politics;" namely, George Papadopolous who served as sheriff.

Because of the turbulence of Berens' time as sheriff, it is thought that this Stark County experience prompted Ohio policing officials (e.g. the Ohio State Buckeye Sheriffs' Association, "BSA") to launch an effort to make it that "just not anybody" could run for county sheriff.


Yesterday, one George T. Maier's key witnesses was Robert Cornwell of the BSA.

Between Craig T. Conley (representing Balas-Bratton) and Thomas Rosenberg (representing George Maier), for the SCPR's money, it was Conley "hands-down" in terms of the quality of the legal representation evident yesterday.

Kind of amazing to The Report given that Conley is a "piss-ant" local attorney compared to the "eminent" Coumbus-based, Roetzel & Andress associated Thomas L. Rosenberg.

Take a look at the opening Conley and Rosenberg presentations:

For the most part, Friday's protest hearing was "the Balas-Bratton Show" (Conley) inasmuch as she had the "burden of proof" to convince at least three of the four BOE members that George T. Maier to be unqualified under the standards of ORC 311.01.

Maier legal counsel Thomas Rosenberg for the most part was relegated to "poking holes" in the effort by the Balas-Bratton side of the case to - through cross-examining the likes of Ronald "Joe" Myers, George T. Maier, and Robert Cornwell (a representative of the Ohio Buckeye Sheriffs' Association) that in combination, the Maier candidacy to be deficient as a matter of law in that:
  • Maier was not a full-time peace officer for the statutorily defined period of time (while Balas-Bratton conceded Maier to be a certified peace officer, she contended that his Harrison County employment in November/December, 2013 "was a sham" in terms of "really" being full-time),
  • Maier did not serve in a supervisory capacity at the rank of corporal or above for two consecutive years,
    • SCPR Note:  Rosenberg argued that Maier was not required to serve two consecutive (meaning continuous, "unbroken" years) but rather a total of two years within the past five years going back from February 5, 2014,
  • Maier has not completed two years or its equivalent of post-secondary education at a State of Ohio certified institution of higher learning (i.e. a college or university or the like),

As pointed out above, the core of the Maier case, the SCPR believes, is wrapped up in the testimony of one Robert Cornwell.
    In his examination of Cornwell, Maier attorney Thomas Rosenberg brought out the following:
    • Cornwell is the executive director of the Buckeye Sheriffs' Association (BSA) for over 30 years,
    • Cornwell has been with the BSA since 1983,
    • Cornwell, as a BSA lobbyist, was instrumental in 1987 in lobbying the Ohio General Assembly to pass ORC 311.01 (somewhat different from the current legislation) so that:
      • the likes of Stark County's Robert Berens (1981-1984) could not qualify to become a county sheriff, and
      • to raise the professionalism of county sheriffs so as to get legislators to raise their pay grade,
    • Cornwell has had experience working with interim Sheriff Tim Swanson (a past president of the BSA [2008]) and the contested George T. Maier,
    • Cornwell set up by Rosenberg (challenged by Conley) as being an expert on ORC 311.01,
      • SCPR Note:  Cornwell revealed in his testimony that he had worked with state Representative Ron Gerberry (back in the late 1980s whom George's brother Johnnie Jr would become close to when Johnnie was a state legislator in the 1990s)
    • Cornwell expressed his opinion that George T. Maier does meet the criteria of ORC 311.01 and therefore is qualified to be a county sheriff,

    On the face of it, Rosenberg's examination of Cornwell is quite impressive.

    However, when Craig Conley gets done with him, the SCPR thinks the value of his so-called "expert" opinion is diminished considerably as Conley points out that he did not in the BSA amicus (friend of the court) brief in Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto, convince the Ohio Supreme Court that Maier was qualified.

    One particularly humorous part of Conley's examination occurs as Cornwell persists in saying that the Supreme Court was wrong in its determination that Maier was unqualified to the point that Conley "pretends" to be convinced that Maier had actually won Swanson v. Maier.


    There also is Conley's examination of Harrison County Sheriff Ronald J. Myers, who has described himself (Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto deposition) as George Maier's "friend forever."  Myers was purring along just fine - if not believable, at least plausible to those who were "sitting on the edge of their seats" for "something; anything" positive for their man Maier, until Conley got to what is called Form SF 400 (Notice of Police Officer Appointment).

    Here is a copy of the form that Conley (see video below) rips into Myers about on the contradiction in dates.

    SCPR Note:  The Report has redacted the social security number from the form that Attorney Conley provided.  Conley says that the form came from the packet that Maier attorney Thomas Rosenberg submitted to the BOE as part of Maier's candidacy documents. 
    That Rosenberg had this oversight is more than a tad ironical in that in the Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto, he (Rosenberg) filed a formal motion to compel Swanson attorney (Greg Beck) to redact sensitive information which Rosenberg himself had submitted unredacted to the Supreme Court.
    Next, the - let's be kind now, Martin, Steve Okey may be reading this blog (be sure to get your grammar and spelling absolutely flawless) -  the "not so good part" of Conley's withering "taking to task" of Myers.

    One has to wonder whether or not Myers from the testimony that he gave at Friday's hearing brought some legal problems on himself with the "under oath" contradictions which appear to populate the document (i.e. SF 400) testified upon.  

    Highlights of the "not so good part of Myers' testimony" include:

    • Conley opening up with establishing that Myers had testified in his deposition in Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto that Myers have been "good friends forever" (Myers' description),
    • Myers first came to know Maier in 1998 when he served as a post commander for the State Highway Patrol (located in adjacent Jefferson County but which also served Harrison County which Myers is "now" (not then) sheriff of,
    • Anticipating where Conley may be heading in his interrogation, Myers - early in his testimony - offers a gratuitous offhand remark "friendship has nothing to do with it" (whatever "it" means in Myers mind),
      • Note:  Conley frequently throughout the examination is to be observed repeatedly suggesting (The Report's take) that the Myers/Maier relationship was such that "normal" (the SCPR's word) hiring process was truncated and that Myers was part of a scheme whereby the "real" purpose of Maier going from Stark County to Harrison County was "merely" to qualify Maier under ORC 311.01 provisions and therefore under Conley's interpretation of the law was a "sham" hire,
        • Note: According to "" the distance from Maier's Massillon located home to the Harrison County sheriff's office is 56 miles and on average should take 1 hour and 6 minutes to travel.
          • Myers testified that on Friday (to come to the BOE Balas-Bratton protest hearing), it took him about 45 minutes,
          • This testimony prompted some amusement when Conley questions whether or not Myers was speeding in making his way from Cadiz to Canton
      • On the truncated hiring procedure "special for Maier," 
        • After Myers testifies with respect to Maier's initial hire on January 7, 2013 (Maier worked two weekends in January, 2013 in Harrison County) that Harrison County does not have an application for Harrison County deputy process,
        • Conley at one point says"  You mean people can just walk in the door and say, "Here I am, hire me,"
      • A key (the SCPR thinks) to understanding Maier's rehire in November, 2013 (after his November 6, 2013 ouster as Stark County sheriff by the Ohio Supreme Court) is that out of the January, 2013 hire (when Maier returned to Stark County to take up being Stark County sheriff as the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointee [February 5, 2013], Myers put Maier on his "special" deputy list,
      • On Maier's "second" hire of November 8, 2013: (two days after he had been removed from office)
        • Again, the SCPR's take is that Myers anticipating that Conley was going to focus on more than suggesting that he (Myers) fully understood that he was rehiring Maier for the sole purpose of qualifying under ORC 311.01 to be a county sheriff prefaced his testimony:
          • with a recitation of having a need to hire someone because of increased oil and gas exploration and drilling activity in the county, and
          • lo and behold! who walks in the door  but one George T. Maier who just happened to be out of work and, what's more, he is already on his list as a "special" deputy,
            • "what good fortune Sheriff Ronald J. Myers has, no?"
          •  Myers testified that he was getting "one Hell of a deal" (the SCPR words) in rehiring the highly experienced Maier and thereby bypassing locals:
            • on as an entry level deputy at base pay (never joined union and did not serve the entire probationary period [one year] ,
            •  for a period - as far as he knew - "the foreseeable  future" which, as it turns out was about 30 days" when the Stark Dems reappointed Maier,
            • that in having placed Maier on "special" deputy status he was emulating and relying on the judgment of interim Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson (whom had served in the prestigious role as president of the Ohio Buckeye Sheriffs' Association),
              • Myers:  "I felt that if he [Maier] was good enough for Stark County, to be here [under Swanson], he was good enough for Harrison County."
            • In a dig, Conley inserts:  "plus, of course, Mr. Maier is your good friend forever, right?"
            • Myers:  (incredibly in the view of the SCPR) "that has nothing to do with it."
            • Conley points out Myers made a political contribution to Maier ($200, 09/25/2013),
            • Conley underscores that though Myers repeats his testimony as needing more deputies because of the oil and gas industry influx he had not advertised his need prior to Maier happening onto the Harrison County scene a second time,
            • Myers testified (as to the second hire) that he and Maier never talked (before the fact of his second hire) about a rehire that Maier just showed up and said he needed a job and that was how the second hire went down,
              • Myers:  "I didn't know if he was going to be there [on the Harrison County job], 2 weeks, 6 months or 2 years,
            • Myers:  Maier was replaced on leaving Harrison County employment on December 5, 2013 about a month and one-half later,
            • Myers:  After the Maier hire/rehire circumstance, Harrison County institutes a "new hiring policy,"
              • SCPR:  "Hmm?  Why was that necessary?"
                • Post-"new hiring policy," guess what?
                  • Myers posts new hire ad,
                    • SCPR:  Interesting, no?
                  • Myers admits that he has not read the entire deputy sheriff union contract.
                    • SCPR:  Interesting, no?
    A "do not miss" video of Conley grilling Sheriff Ronald "Joe" Myers - "friend forever" of George T. Maier:


      In The Report's 40 years as an attorney, I have seen few witness decimations to equal of Craig Conley's grilling of Harrison County Sheriff Ronald "Joe" Myers.

      If I were a Harrison County citizen, I'd be mighty upset and full of questions of the county sheriff after viewing his testimony under Conley's cross-examination on Friday.

      Part I did not, in the view of the SCPR, do anything to validate Myers as being a credible witness, unless, of course, your name is Sam Ferruccio or Deametrious St. John.

      If Part I was bad for the sheriff from "down south," the SCPR thinks Part II was highly devastating to Maier's "friend forever."

      The focus of Part II is the SF 400.

      The SCPR has taken the full version of SF 400 and extracted key material for the readers of The Report "to 'easily' follow" the Myers testimony elicited by Conley.

      It was pretty apparent that Myers was in trouble in terms of explaining to "reasonable minded" audience and BOE members the dates on the SF 400 (re:  the second hire) and dates that he says he had personal conversations with George T. Maier regarding Maier's return to Harrison County after having been ousted as Stark County sheriff by the Ohio Supreme Court.

      The form says that everything transpired on November 6th and yet Myers had testified earlier that he first spoke with Maier on November 7th and as the SCPR recalls that Maier "just showed up on the 8th" ready to go to work, no?

      Readers, were those Myers' words in the earlier video segment?

      Although Maier was not hired until November 8th and Myers testified that he first talked to Maier on November 7th, SF 400 was singed on November 6th AND notarized on November 6th.


      Unless the SCPR is missing something, it seems to The Report that he is not entitled to credibility by the Board members (any of them) on:
      • the larger issue of whether or not the George Maier hiring was specifically tailored to get him qualified under ORC 311.01 (which both Myers and Maier in their testimony denied was the case), and
      • on the specific issue of when the form was prepared,
        • Myers suggests if not outright says that while the form says it was signed on November 6th, it was not actually signed on the 6th that the recitation of the 6th was simply a mistake or maybe "on second thought" he did talk with Maier on the 6th.
        The problem with Myers' explanation of the date problem simply being a mistake is that IT IS A NOTARIZED DOCUMENT.

        It is really, really hard to believe - at least for me, a notary in my own right - that a notary public would make a mistake on what date he/she subscribes the affiant and "actually" with his/her own eyeballs sees the affiant "actually" sign the document

        And as it dawns on Myers that Conley has boxed him in, "all of sudden" his previous certainty they (he and Maier) had not talked until the 7th becomes "maybe we did talk on the 6th."  (see the video)

        Conley counters:  "So your secretary typed in the wrong date in box 14, you wrote in the wrong date in box 19 and the notary wrote in the wrong date on her notary clause?"

        Conley:  Is that what happened?  Three people screwed up on the same document. Is that what happened Sheriff?"

        Myers:  "Could have."

        Conley:  "I am tempted to say that I have some swamp land for sale, but I am sure... "

        Rosenberg:  Objection!

        Here is the "exciting" video of Conley and Myers squaring off.  Be sure to see the ending in which Conley asks Myers "rhetorically and sarcastically" (for which Conley apologizes)  "You aren't psychic, are you?"


        And there is the matter of the testimony of George T. Maier himself, the candidate for Stark County sheriff which is under protest by Cynthia Balas-Bratton.  Ms. Balas-Bratton is a Democratic precinct committeeperson for Massillon's Ward 2A.  Election law requires that the challenge come from a Party member of the candidate being challenged.

        Conley "comes out of the box" swinging at SCDP-CC sheriff appointee Maier.

        Balas-Bratton makes the following points:
        • Maier's candidacy packet to the BOE was 244 pages long.  
          • SCPR Note:  By contrast Republican candidate Larry Dordea's packet (The Report is told) was 53 pages long.
        • Included in Maier's packet is:
          • his policing history going back to the 1980s whereas the requirement is for 5 years,
          • what Conley describes as being "atta boy" certificates (honorary awards),
        Other points of the  Maier testimony:
        • Maier never joined the Harrison County deputies' union because, he said "he was never asked to."
        • Maier denies Conley's allegation that he did not seek "union joining information" because he (Maier) knew he was not going to be in Harrison County very long,
        • Maier says (in response to a Conley question) that he learned of the Supreme Court's ouster in the morning hours of November 6th but that he did not talk with Sheriff Myers about it until the 7th,
        • Maier made only one application for deputy sheriff in Harrison County (the January, 2013 occasion and no other application,
        • Maier's attorney (Rosenberg) spars with Balas-Bratton attorney (Conley) over whether or not Conley will be permitted to inquire of Maier regarding certain SCDP-CC appointment candidacy documents (one of which was signed by Stark BOE member Deametrious St. John endorsing Maier's candidacy),
        • Maier did confirm a second document (campaigning for the December 11th SCDP-CC appointment) had been submitted to the SCDP-CC but denied that a reference in the document to his November 8 through December 5 Harrison County employment was confirmation that his primary reason for working in Harrison County was to cure his problems with ORC 311.01,
        • Maier distinguished "from his perspective" (under Conley questioning) his filing an application with the Stark County Court of Common Pleas (11/26/2013) to one filed (12/06/2013 [one day after his 12/05/2013 resignation from Harrison County) with the SCDP-CC for the SCDP December 11th appointment and that therefore he was not in violation of ORC 124.57.
        • Maier contended (in response to Conley questions) that his work:
          • at the Ohio Department of Public Safety (second-in-command, first-in-command),
          • as the service and safety director for Massillon, and
          • as SCDP-CC appointed sheriff (from December 11th on)
            • qualified him as a "corporal or above" for the requisite two years under ORC 311.01,
        • Maier contended (in response to Conley questions) that documents from Stark State College (SSC) to the effect that were he to enroll in and successfully complete certain minimum course work he likely would be awarded enough additional SSC educational hours for  training in law enforcement over his years in law enforcement to qualify under certain provisions of ORC 311.01,
        • Maier admitted that he never had enrolled at SSC
        Here is the Maier video

        Returning to the stellar "in his own mind" Thomas Rosenberg and his "star" witness Robert Cornwell.
          Normally, organizations like these do not like to take sides between policing officials on disputes such as the one between Tim Swanson and George T. Maier.  It is particularly odd that they would do so in light of the fact that Swanson is a past president of the organization.

          To the SCPR, it shows that perhaps Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (his Ohio Democratic Party (and George by virtue of having been second (and for a few days, first) in command at the ODPS. may have lingering influence in Columbus that helped them coach the BSA out of it normal neutral position.  

          In any event, Rosenberg has his finest hour yesterday when he put Cornwell on the stand.  But that did not last long.  As soon as Conley got his mitts on Cornwell, he methodically went about the business a tearing the BSA lobbyist apart.

          Here is video of Cornwall's testimony by Maier attorney Rosenberg:

          The SCPR ventures to say that Mr. Cornwell will not be forgetting the Conley cross-examination experience for "a very long time, to wit:

          By the end of the examination, Conley "sarcastically" asks him: (paraphrase), "Oh, George Maier won the Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto case?"

          As we Stark Countians know, on November 6, 2014 the Ohio Supreme Court ousted George T. Maier notwithstanding the BSA's Cornwell expertise on the origin and the thinking that went into the legislative formulation of ORC 311.01.


          Back in 2012, when the Maier folks figured out that Mike McDonald's health was not going to allow him - if elected (which he was in November, 2012) as sheriff to take office. 

          They likely got to thinking:  "Aha! is this not an opportunity for George T. Maier, Stark County's very own home grown police product to be inserted as Stark County sheriff?"

          After all, JAM, the SCPR thinks, had parlayed brother George into being the number 2 in charge at the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) early in 2007 when victorious Democratic 2006 gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland took office.

          As the-then Stark County Democratic Party chairman, Maier, Jr appears to have used the Party to be in a position to - as Party chairman - to be the very first Ohio county Democratic Party chairman to endorse Ted Strickland in his primary face off against possible opponents (LINK, e.g. Eric Fingerhut)  and Bryan Flannery (LINK) in securing the 2006 Democratic nomination for governor.

          Lo and behold!

          Guess who gets appointed to be "second-in-command" at the ODHS?

          You've got it!  George T. Maier.

          Of course, they could not have known it then, but "irony" surfaced again yesterday as Maier's attorney tried:
          • to use his 23 months and some odd-days as the "second-in-command" and "seven days as 'first-in-command'" 
          • (in the waning days of the Strickland administration) (Strickland lost to Republican John Kasich in November, 2012) 
          • plus his stint as the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointee (after December 11th)
          to overcome Maier's current difficulty as being qualified under ORC 311.01(B)(9)(a), to wit:
          (9) The person meets at least one of the following conditions:

          (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;
          Okay, so JAM uses political heft to get his brother appointed to the high reaches of the ODHS, what's next?

          Well, after losing out in Columbus any many "local Boys/Girls-wonder" are wont to do, the natural thing to do is to "come back home" and "share with the locals" what they have been missing out on "all these years - away from home," no?

          That's what George and eldest brother Johnnie seem to be up to.

          First, Johnnie in 2011 got behind Kathy Catazaro-Perry (KCP) to challenge long time mayor (about 28 years) of Massillon Frank Cicchinelli.

          Apparently, Cicchinelli underestimated KCP and she took his measure in May, 2011 in the Democratic Primary.  And, of course, Massillon - citywide - being the Democratic stronghold it is, it was a "walk-in-the-park" for her to get elected mayor in November.
          • A SPPR Note:  Frank Cicchinelli and Johnnie A. Maier, Jr have been competitors for dominance in Massillon Democratic politics since the days they were students at Kent State University - Stark County campus.
          • A SCPR Note:  The Report is told that KCP was calling around on Thursday this week for someone to try to get the ear of Balas-Bratton's attorney to encourage the dropping of the Balas-Bratton protest of Maier's candidacy.
          Lo and behold!

          Guess who ends up as Massllion's director of public service and safety.

          Readers of the SCPR.  You folks are way too smart!!!

          You've guessed correctly again:  Indeed!  Hometown "Boy Wonder" George T. Maier.

          You folks are impressive!

          Again, as if Johnnie, Jr had a "crystal ball" when arranging for little brother George to take over in Massillon, George's stint as safety director show up in yesterday's Balas-Bratton protest of George T. Maier's candidacy hearing.


          Folks, The Report is not going to repeat.

          Just go up 50 lines or so (the gold text area) and read.



          Recall from above:  Back in 2012, when the Maier folks figured out that Mike McDonald's health was not going to allow him - if elected (which he was in November, 2012) as sheriff to take office. 

          They likely got to thinking:  "Aha! is this not an opportunity for George T. Maier, Stark County's very own home grown police product to be inserted as Stark County sheriff?"

          That's when the Maier "bombast" began:

          Here is a George T. Maier ditty when asked whether or not he was interested in becoming Stark County sheriff when in early January, 2013 McDonald let it be known that he was not up to it healthwise to take office as sheriff on January 7, 2013.

          The SCPR's take on the Maiers is that they think all they have to do is say something for it to be a fact of life.

          And George's "guarantee" statement is indication that he may be infected with the JAM "imperial" virus.

          Isn't that what we want as Stark County sheriff?

          A guy who might think he sits to "the right hand of the Father?"

          From the get-go, it appears to the SCPR that the Maier political clan (with Stark County Dems' chairman being "the torch bearer") realized that there was a "Houston, we have a problem" moment.

          But the problem (George's qualification under ORC 311.01) was  "eyes only" for the inner recesses of the Maier political circle, at least early on.

          (SCPR Note:  While some of the public officials/public figures appearing on the George T. Maier campaign Finance list below are not necessarily a part of any Maier loyalists club, they have varying degrees of connection and interest in whether or not Maier gets approval to be the Stark County Democratic nominee for Stark County sheriff in November)

          SCPR commentary on the people listed (extracted by The Report from Maier's 2013 Annual Campaign Finance Report), is as follows:
          • Ronald J. Myers, Harrison County sheriff and witness in Balas-Bratton protest of George T. Maier candidacy,
            • policing "Friend Forever,"
          • Sam Ferruccio, Stark County BOE member (Democrat), voted Friday to qualify Maier as sheriff candidate,
          • Steven P. Okey, Canton attorney and Stark County Democratic Party activist,
            • represented Stark Dems chairman Randy Gonzalez and the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDP-CC) in Darrow/Maier lawsuit in Mandamus immediately prior to the the SCDP-CC's second appointment of Maier as sheriff on December 11th,
            • Was cited by Gonzalez before the first Maier appointment (February 5, 2013) as being one of several attorneys who had the opinion that Maier is qualified under ORC 311.01,
              • On November 6, 2013, the Ohio Supreme Court found that the February appointment was invalid as being unlawful "from the beginning" and ousted Maier from office,
            • Says he represents Stark BOE member and Democrat Deametrious St. John (who voted Friday to qualify Maier) in a Writ of Mandamus/Prohibition (2 each) filed by Balas-Bratton attorney Craig T. Conley with the Fifth District Court of Appeals to have the court remove St. John from considering the Balas-Bratton protest because of pre-hearing statements indicating to Conley that St. John has pre-determined how he was going to vote,
              • Conley takes the position that Okey is not allowed to represent St. John in his capacity.  He says the job is that of the Stark County prosecutor, or in the case of conflict-in-interest, the appointment of "special counsel,"
          • Jeanette Mullane, Democrat deputy director of the Stark County Board of Elections who sat as the hearing table during the Balas-Bratton protest hearing of Maier's candidacy,
            • SCPR Note:  Republican director Jeff Matthews also sat at the hearing table and as chairman of the Stark County Republican Party is part of the process whereby Republican members of the Stark BOE (Cline and Braden [a former Stark GOP chairman]) are appointed,
          • Frank Forchione (a Democrat) is the administrative judge of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas who defined who could and who could not apply for the SCDP-CC (the December 11th selection process),
            • ruled that "in erring on the side of Democracy," George T. Maier would be allow to apply to the court which he did on November, 26,
              • Balas-Bratton attorney Craig Conley has taken the position that Maier is in violation of ORC Section 124.57 in that he was a "classified employee" (by Maier's own statement) on the 26th as a deputy for the Harrison County sheriff,
          • Scott Gwin (a Democrat) and a judge on the Fifth District Court of Appeals which had filed with it on Thursday the extraordinary writs referred to above in this blog,
          • Randy Gonzalez, chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party and ardent George T. Maier support from the very beginning.
            • Gonzalez has openly advocated for and urged SCDP-CC to appoint Maier on both February 5th and December 11,
          • Ohio Democratic Party State Campaign Account,
            • obviously wants to keep a Democrat in the Stark County sheriff's post as the Party has held the office for approximately 20 years in the latest unbroken cycle of Democratic Party dominance of the office.

            The George T. Maier qualification problem could not be kept out of public view.

            In order to have a chance at solving "the problem," the Maier insiders needed to involve public officials in their official capacities.

            "Right out the chute," loyalist-in-chief and Stark Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez schedules a meeting "at the Stark County Office Building" with Commissioner Tom Bernabei and interim Sheriff Tim Swanson to explore ways and means to solve George Maier's "problem."

            They even get George Maier on the telephone with them as they "brainstorm" ways to make his "guarantee language" stick.

            But there one "huge problem," that the Maiers had not counted on.


            What was that?

            Sheriff Swanson was working on having his own candidate!

            And that candidate was to be Lt. Louis Darrow, a long time employee and highly respected administrator within the Stark County sheriff's department.

            With McDonald's resignation of early January, Chairman Randy got busy scheduling a hearing for the SCDP Central Committee (SCDP-CC) to meet and select his successor.

            The meeting was set for and took place on February 5, 2013.

            In a shocking turn of events, Maier only defeated the heretofore "non-political" Darrow 92 to 84.

            The SCPR was taken unawares regarding the amount of opposition to the "let's make George T. Maier sheriff of Stark County within the rank and file of the Party (i.e. the precinct committeepersons).

            The Report has leaned since that nearly everybody was surprised at the closeness of the vote.

            These so-called "expert" Stark County Democratic politicians (chiefly, tactician and strategist "R." Shane Jackson, remember:  "the political director," Gonzalez and Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.) DID NOT SEE "THE CLOSE VOTE" COMING!

            Would anyone expect Jackson, Gonzalez and Maier, Jr. to blame themselves and their candidate for his not being prepared on the 311.01 qualification criteria.  Lou Darrow and Republican candidate Larry Dordea were.  Nobody then nor since has questioned whether not they are qualified to be sheriff under the criteria of 311.01B(8) and (9).

            No, the blame (Shane Jackson is likely thinking) belongs on:
            • that "evil" Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero (filed affidavit:  saying George T. Maier is not qualified), 
            • that evil, evil Stark County sheriff Tim Swanson (filed quo warranto against George T. Maier), and, thirdly 
            • that evil, evil, evil Cindy Balas-Bratton for "protesting" the George T. Maier candidacy
            and concomitantly denying the Maier political clan their "divine right" to have what they want, when they want it, and whatever manner in which they may wish to use in achieving their "heart of heart" political desires!
              That's the SCPR's take on the Maiers and their close-in supporters.

              It could be that George T. Maier will eventually become Stark County sheriff.

              What Stark Countians should insist upon is that he get there through "the rule of law."

              To the SCPR, it is unthinkable that one who aspires to be Stark County's chief law enforcer would try to circumvent the law.

              That the Maier political operatives keep trying power politics as a short cut over simply stepping back and crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's seems to the SCPR to put them squarely within Einstein's definition of - let's be nice - "political" insanity.

              Johnnie should not be looking to call others crazy.

              Maybe, just maybe some self-examination is in order?

              His "let's force this" attitude in his apparent mission to drive brother George onward and forward for sheriff is not helpful to the stability of Stark County government.

              As we all know, Stark County has been under a lot of duress in recent years beginning in April, 2009.

              There are quite a number of Stark Countians who think that the Stark County Democratic Party did not serve the Stark County well in appointing Gary Zeigler as county treasurer in 1999.

              And there are citizens who resent what a number of folks consider to be "political bullying" in the Stark Dems' leadership unrelenting effort to impose George T. Maier on the Stark County electorate.

              The Report does not expect the Maier political machine to stop its march forward now.

              They are way too invested in pushing George through to think of anything but trying make the Machine's political will the reality for all Stark Countians.

              In short, the SCPR's take on the Machine's persistence is:  the Stark County public be damned!

              On Thursday, Cynthia Balas-Bratton had her attorney file Writs of Prohibition/Mandamus with the Fifth District Court of Appeals.

              The primary objective of the action was to get Deametrious St. John removed as a hearing official on the Balas-Bratton protest of the George T. Maier candidacy.

              Of course, the filing was not done enough in advance of Friday's BOE protest hearing for the COA to have time and space to respond to Balas-Bratton's request that it remove St. John from the protest consideration.

              With the decision of the BOE yesterday, one might think that the Writ action may be moot.

              Not so. says Conley.

              He plans to leave the case pending.  His thinking is that should the secretary of state vote with the Democrat Stark BOE members, he will pursue having the original vote invalidated by the Fifth District because St. John refused to recuse himself as demanded by Balas-Bratton.

              Such a result would revert the Stark BOE to a 2 to 1 vote thereby eliminating the secretary of state having a vote.

              One final point on the Maier forces persisting in seemingly doing the same old thing (i.e.the repeated exercise of political power) as the "tool of choice" to make George Stark County sheriff.

              What would Einstein say about doing "the same old thing and getting the same result?"

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