SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE: 10:05 AM
CONLEY ADMONISHES BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO KEEP THE POLITICAL LOBBYING OUT OF BOARD'S PROTEST CONSIDERATION
Craig T. Conley Co. LPA
ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW...
February 12, 2014
VIA FACSIMILE (1 PAGE TO 330/451-7000) ONLY
TO: Stark County Board of Elections
FROM: Craig T. Conley, Esq.
RE: Cynthia Balas-Bratton's Protest Against Maier Candidacy
As to the above-referenced Protest, if it has not already occurred, I suspect you will very, shortly be heavily "lobbied" by.both "pro-Maier" and "anti-Maier" factions.
Because you are herein acting as a quasi-judicial body, you are, as a matter of law, required to disregard and reject such "lobby" efforts and to make your decision only upon hearing, without theretofore engaging in any ex parte communications and without any pre-hearing deliberations between cr among yourselves, both directly and, in "round robin" fashion, indirectly.
Or. a related topic, please consider this memo a request for your Board's timely issuance of hearing appearance subpoenas to Mr.-Maier and to Harrison County Sheriff, Ronald J. Myers.
In that regard, I respectfully suggest Mr. Maier should be served that subpoena at his home address of 331 Oakcrest Lane N.E., Massillon, Ohio 44646; and Sheriff Myers should be served at his office address, of 114 Court Street, Cadiz, Ohio. 43907.
UPDATED: 09:10 AM
Whomever is giving "political" advice to George T. Maier ought to go hide his/her head.
Could be a her, but the SCPR doubts it.
And it could be a "their heads." Which the SCPR thinks is the most likely thing going on.
The Report has a pretty good idea of the identities of the not-so-sage George T. Maier political advisers.
Those people, The Report believes, are "political bully types" who think that everybody wilts in their presence.
The SCPR thinks that political trials and tribulations of the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDP-CC) appointee (for a second time) as Stark County sheriff are owing to "major" miscalculations made by his key political cognoscenti.
Massillonian John Ferrero's "curve ball" humpbacks by the would-be sheriff's bat.
None of George's political "inside baseball" groupies figured that Stark County's prosecutor and former Stark County Democratic Party chairman would throw a "curve ball" his way.
As George Maier came to the plate, he had to think he had "all his ducks (err softballs) all in a row" and he was ready "to hit them out of the park!"
But then came along John with his "affidavit of disqualification," and lo and behold! Maier's whiffs on it - Strike One!
Well, the Maier politicos had to say to themselves, any other pitches thrown George's way will be "true" softballs.
Nobody figured the "I'm on my way to Florida" interim Sheriff Tim Swanson would be into staying in touch with 10 below temperatures and throwing another "unhittable" baseball the appointed sheriff's way.
But they figured wrong.
Tim with his "quo warranto" pitch threw the "slider" of his life at "
Now this is getting to be serious stuff.
Out of the batter's box (ousted November 6, 2013 - Swanson v. Maier - by the Ohio Supreme Court), Maier regroups and another try.
Re-appointed on December 11th, Maier pulls himself together for one final swing.
Will it be a third whiff or a home run?
Up steps another fellow Massillonian to make a pitch.
Oh! A lady? With all due respect to women, this has got to be a pitch that Maier can handle, no?
Cindy Balas-Bratton shocks them all with a Bob Feller-esque fastball that zooms right by the desperately swinging bat of the former Ohio Highway patrolman.
George Maier is out, so the SCPR thinks.
As The Report has been writing for a number of days now, Massillon Ward 2A Democrat Cynthia Balas-Bratton may prove to be the political shock of their lives for the close-in political gurus who are guiding George T. Maier through the Stark County Democratic Party political thicket.
She was there on February 5, 2013 (the first appointment of Maier) and raising her voice in opposition to him only to be (in the opinion of the SCPR) cast aside with contempt and dismissiveness (as the SCPR believes Ferrero and Swanson were) by Maier pal and political ally Randy Gonzalez who chaired the meeting.
As if that were not enough, Ferrero, Swanson and Balas-Bratton were "steam-rollered" again on December 11th.
But she may, in the filing of her protest yesterday, be in line to have "the last laugh" on Chairman Randy and other Stark politicos who appear to smugly think they are "head and shoulders" above the "Balas-Brattons of the world. One has to wonder whether or not The Gonzalez crowd have ever heard of the biblical injunction that "pride goeth before a fall?"
With the 4:17 PM, February 11, 2014 filing, Balas-Bratton may have set into motion a process which might result in George T. Maier not being certified to be "the" Democratic Party candidate for Stark County sheriff come the elections of 2014.
If that happens, it appears to The Report that Republican Larry Dordea is in line to have an uncontested pathway to becoming Stark's first Republican sheriff in 20 years.
Those 101 Democrats who supported Gonzalez et al will then be real pleased with themselves that they followed this political "Pied Piper" over the clift into political oblivion.
And Stark Countians, in general, will have - because of Stark County Democratic Party leadership political arrogance - been deprived of having a choice in November's election.
Gonzalez and friends should be pleased with themselves, no?
On to the Balas-Bratton protest:
THE PROTEST PROCESS (From extracted portions of O.R.C. 3513.05:
- Protests against the candidacy of any person filing a declaration of candidacy for party nomination or for election to an office or position, as provided in this section,
- may be filed by any qualified elector who is a member of the same political party as the candidate and who is eligible to vote at the primary election for the candidate whose declaration of candidacy the elector objects to, ...
- The protest shall be in writing, and shall be filed not later than four p.m. of the seventy-fourth day before the day of the primary election. (February 21, 2014)
- The protest shall be filed with the election officials with whom the declaration of candidacy and petition was filed.
- Upon the filing of the protest, the election officials with whom it is filed shall:
- promptly fix the time for hearing it, and
- shall forthwith mail notice of the filing of the protest and the time fixed for hearing to the person whose candidacy is so protested
- "As a threshold matter, it is respectfully suggested that: Usurper Maier' s candidacy here is barred by operation of O.R.C. 2733.14, entitled "Judgment when office, franchise, or privilege is usurped" and which provides, in pertinent part:, that "When a defendant in an action in quo warranto is found guilty of usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising an office, franchise, or privilege, judgment shall be rendered that he be ousted and excluded therefrom, . . ." (emphasis added by SCPR)
2733.14 Judgment when office, franchise, or privilege is usurped.When a defendant in an action in quo warranto is found guilty of usurping, intruding into, or unlawfully holding or exercising an office, franchise, or privilege, judgment shall be rendered that he be ousted and excluded therefrom, and that the relator recover his costs. Effective Date: 10-01-1953
- Protestor asserts that, following the Ohio Supreme Court's issuance of its aforesaid Opinion on November 6, 2013 [Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto, filed February 12, 2013], Maier remains unqualified under O.R.C. 311.01 (B) (8) (a) because his subsequent attempt to "cure" same was a sham, which should not be recognized by this Board (emphasis added by SCPR]
- 311(B)(8) The person meets at least one of the following conditions:
- (a) Has obtained or held, within the four-year period ending immediately prior to the qualification date, a valid basic peace officer certificate of training issued by the Ohio peace officer training commission ... .
- Balas-Bratton contends that Maier's employment in Harrison County (weekend in January, 2013 and from November 6, 2013 through December 5, 2013) by Maier's "good friend forever" (Sheriff Ronald J. Myers) was "a sham" in that there is no evidence:
- was ever advertised
- that Maier joined the Union inasmuch as Harrison County deputies are unionized, and that:
- Maier correspondence indicates that the job was "designed solely for his own self-serving political advancement purposes."
- ... it appears that Maier, while purportedly employed by the Harrison County Sheriff, obtained Democratic Party appointment (the second time) to his current position as Stark County Sheriff by and through blatant and repeated violations of O.R.C. 124.57 ... (emphasis added by SCPR)
124.57 Prohibition against partisan political activity.
(A) No officer or employee in the classified service of ... of the several counties, ... shall directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting or receiving, any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political party or for any candidate for public office; nor shall any person solicit directly or indirectly, orally or by letter, or be in any manner concerned in soliciting, any such assessment, contribution, or payment from any officer or employee in the classified service ... .
- See the specifics of alleged violations of O.R.C. in Tuesday's SCPR (LINK),
- O.R.C. 311.01(B)(9) requires that a candidate for County Sheriff must have either (a) "at least two years of supervisory-experience as a peace officer at the rank of corporal or above . . . in the five-year period immediately prior to the qualification date" or must have (b) "completed satisfactorily at least two years of post-secondary education or the equivalent [thereof] . . . . (emphasis added by SCPR)
- To sum up the Bratton-Balas argument on these points, she says:
- Maier's employment at Ohio Department of Highway Safety (ODHS) ( May 21, 2007 through January 11, 2011) is not the equivalent of "corporal or above," or alternatively that
- said employment (even if deemed to be "at corporal or above" was not for the required two years during the "going back" five years (February 4, 2009 through February 4, 2014) in that he served at ODHS from February 4, 2009 through January 11, 2011 which amounts to 23 months and "a few days" which is short of Ohio law required 24 consecutive months which means that any time outside the 24 month "consecutive months" does not count.
- Maier has never qualified on the two years post-secondary avenue witness an affidavit submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court by a Stark State College official
- As to peace officers, O.R.C. 109.741 requires "the training of peace officers in the handling of missing children, missing persons, and child abuse and neglect cases"; O.R.C. 109.742 requires the training of peace officers in crisis intervention"; and O.R.C. 109.744 requires "the training of peace officers in the handling of the offense of domestic violence, other types of domestic violence-related offenses and incidents, and protection orders and consent agreements".
- In short, if Maier has not heretofore filed documentary evidence with the Administrative Judge of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas (and thereafter with this Board) evincing his aforesaid non-OPOTA training, it is respectfully suggested that such a failure provides further support for this Protest and another reason to grant same (emphasis added by SCPR)
There you have it folks.
The SCPR thinks Balas-Bratton makes a persuasive legal argument that the BOE should not certify George T. Maier as being qualified and therefore should rule him off the May 6, 2014 Stark County Democratic Party ballot.
Of course, the legal arguments should prevail and, likely will ultimately "tell the tale."
The expectation is that the Stark BOE will deadlock at a 2 to 2 vote along political party lines.
Sam Ferruccio (a lawyer) and Deametrious St. John are the Democrats (believed by the SCPR to be tied to the Maier SCDP faction) on the Board.
William S. Cline (a lawyer) and Curt Braden (a former Stark County Republican chairman) are the Republicans on the Board.
Ohio law provides for Ohio secretary of state Jon Husted to break a tie.
In a year in which Husted and Republican governor John Kasich are on the ballot, does anyone expect Husted to break for the Maier position?
If so, please send that person to the SCPR.
Do I have a deal for him/her.
For the SCPR sees that either way the BOE rules (presuming a tie with Husted breaking the tie), there will be a court challenge and likely on an direct expedited path to the Ohio Supreme Court for the high court to weigh in once again on a Stark County "right to office" question.
It will - in the end - be the Ohio Supreme Court which rules whether or not George T. Maier strikes out on Balas-Bratton's fastball!