UPDATED AT 8:30 AM
George T. Maier candidacy "protester" Cynthia Balas-Bratton attorney Craig T. Conley was not a happy camper after yesterday's Stark County Board of Elections (BOE; Board) certification meeting.
First, after BOE Republican member William S. Cline (an attorney himself) questioned Conley's subpoena of Harrison County sheriff Ronald J. Myers as being "too broad" and the Board thereafter "mini"-sizing it and disallowing altogether Conley's subpoena of the subject of Balas-Bratton's "protest;" namely, Maier himself as being required to attend Friday's "protest hearing" set for this Friday, the 21st of February at 9:00 AM at the Canton Regional Chamber "Millennium Center" so as to be subject to Conley's "cross-examination," Conley was furious and was heading back to his office at the Huntington Building mere blocks away to begin efforts to override the BOE's subpoena decisions.
On his way out of the BOE building, he encountered - what he says was - another unpleasant event.
Conley (see video below) says he witnessed his client Ms. Balas-Bratton being verbally "castigated" (Conley's word) by a fully uniformed female Stark County deputy sheriff for having had the audacity to have filed the Maier candidacy protest in the first place.
Here is Conley's eyewitness account (the SCPR did not witness the event):
The SCPR does not know who organized the apparent "show of force" of what The Reports estimates to have been some 20 to 25 deputies, reserve deputies and sheriff department administrators to take up nearly, if not all, every available seat to make up a "sea of black uniformed" officers of law looking the deciders in the eyeballs.
The last the SCPR knew, the decision of the Board of Elections is not to be a straw poll of the popularity of Maier with sheriff department employees but rather implementing "the rule of law" within the Stark County "body politic and governance."
In an interesting and ironic twist; while the deputies, Maier, his attorney and chief Stark County Democratic Party supporter and chairman Randy Gonzalez were seated, neither Conley nor Balas-Bratton appear to have had an opportunity to have a seat themselves.
Part of the blame, it seems to the SCPR, is owing to the administration of the Board of Elections itself. Director Jeff Matthews (a Republican and chairman of the Board of Elections) and Democrat Deputy Director Jeanette Mullane seemed to not have a clue of the "apparent - for the eye to behold" commandeering of the meeting room by pro-Maier forces.
Why wouldn't Board officials have provided - at the very least - a reserved place for Balas-Bratton and Conley to be seated?
Because Stark County's chief law enforcement agency (the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointed Sheriff George T. Maier managed Stark County sheriff's department) is the main part of the story, perhaps, the SCPR thinks that the Ohio attorney general's office should be asked by the Stark County prosecutor's office and or the Stark County commissioners to investigate a complaint that Conley says he will file with Sheriff Maier about his client's treatment.
Interesting also will be the reaction of Maier himself.
Stark Countians should watch very carefully the reaction of a man who wants Stark County voters to vote him in as Stark County sheriff in November of this year.