UPDATE: 12:12 P.M.
Today at 12:08 PM
To: THE REPORT Martin Olson
When I read your blog today I was amazed, no shocked at what you reported as to my reaction to your questioning about the picture and topic of your blog. At no time did I react in a manner or state that I thought it was funny. I did in fact state to that I saw it was posted on Facebook by someone else and mearly shared the photo onto my own Facebook page because I thought it was kind of a cool picture.
That was the exact word I used when asked by you was I thought it was kind of a cool picture, I never used the words I thought it was funny. When you asked me if I thought it appropriate for the officers holding the shirt on duty I stated clearly that I thought it was just a couple of officers having fun with the crowd and being over zealous in showing their own personal support for the Sheriff. I also told you I was not present at the Hall of Fame Parade and did not and do not know who took the picture.
The only thing you got correct in your blog was the fact yes I did have the photo on my page and Yes, I am 110% support Sheriff Maier and his election.
George T. Maier (the Stark County Democratic Party appointee as sheriff) probably - personally - had nothing to do with an incident during Pro Football Hall of Fame parade festivities whereby two auxiliary Canton Police officers appear to have been enticed by Maier campaign workers into displaying a Maier for Sheriff campaign t-shirt outside the window of the driver's side window of Canton Police Department cruiser.
However, the SCPR believes that he and his super-politically attuned brother - Johnnie A. Maier, Jr - a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman, have created a political culture within the campaign whereby the prime operating structure is understood by one and all: "ya gotta do, what you gotta do! - no matter who might get hurt in "doing what ya gotta do" in order to get George T. Maier elected.
The photograph was published almost immediately on Democrat and Plain Township trustee Louis Giavasis' Facebook (FB) page.
Okay! Okay! The Report knows.
All the clicking on the link above only gets a reader this:
That's because likely on the insistence of Canton safety forces personnel Louis Giavasis felt he had no alternative.
The SCPR talked with Louie as soon as The Report was emailed by a source with the link and had checked it out.
Louie (the brother of current Stark County Democratic Party chairman and Canton clerk of courts Phil Giavasis) initially conveyed an impression the SCPR that he didn't know who took the photo, who posted the photo but that he thought it was funny
(SCPR Note: [See Giavasis response at the beginning of this blog] "funny" may not have been the exact word Giavasis used, but, if not, the take away impression for The Report was that at the very least he was humored by the photo).
Well, Canton's safety director (Andrea Perry) and Lieutenant Greg Boudreaux were not laughing.
The Report spoke with Director Perry within a day or so of the incident occurring and she assured the SCPR that she was aware of the incident and had dealt with it.
However, as readers of the SCPR know, your truly wanted much more in detail that the brief conversation with Perry entailed.
So here is the entire e-mail exchange between Boudreaux and The Stark County Political Report:
Aug 18 at 3:47 PM
To Martin Olson
I'm sorry, I had assumed you had seen the photos. [Editor’s note: The SCPR, of course, had seen the photos; however, The Report wanted to confirm that both officers were involved in the incident] Yes, two Auxiliary officers were involved who were working together in one police cruiser (one incident involving two Aux. officers). Concerning your questions:
1. No, the Aux. officers did not have the shirts with them prior to duty.
2. The person(s) who gave them the shirt are unknown.
3. The t-shirts were given in exchange for the pictures being taken. The details of this are as follows: The officers were assigned to work the pre-parade route and were driving in the 2500blk of Cleveland Ave. N.W. They saw several people with Meier for Sheriff t-shirts. They casually asked how they could get a shirt. Someone in the group (apparently at least three people were handing out shirts) gave them a shirt and asked to take a picture of them with the shirt. The officers complied, had their pictures taken.
4. Answered above. Yes, whomever gave them the shirt requested to photograph them with the shirt.
5. No, neither officer had anything to do with the photos being put on FB.
6. Unknown. I can only assume that a supporter of Sheriff Meier posted the photos.
7. Unknown who took the photos
8. Both Aux. Officers expressed remorse over the incident and did not realize that their actions were a violation of the rules of the department. One offered his resignation and both expressed that they would not have done it had they known that it was against the rules. Both denied that this was in anyway an effort on their part to show that that the CPD has officially endorsed Sheriff Meier.
I hope that this answers your questions.
Lt. Greg Boudreaux
Canton Police Department
On 8/18/2014 2:05 PM, Martin Olson wrote:
> Regarding your description :
> "I can assure you that this was just a use of bad judgment on their part and a spur of the moment incident."
> Am I to assume that there were two auxiliaries who displayed the Maier campaign sign?
> If so, the follow questions apply to both of them:
> Did he have the shirt with him when he reported to duty that day?
> Whom did he get the shirt from?
> Did anyone one other than a CPD connected person (again, your use of the word "their" indicates to me a fellow auxiliary officer may have been involved) prompt the the display of the Maier campaign shirt?
> In your interview with the auxiliary officers, was there any indication that the auxiliaries were put up to doing the displaying by persons outside the CPD?
> Did either of the auxiliaries have anything to do withe posting of the photo on Louis Giavasis Facebook (FB) page?
> If so, what/who prompted them to post the photo on the FB page?
> If not, who took the photo?
> Please provide me with any other details that convinced you that the displaying was a "spur of the moment incident" and not part of a pre planned prompting on the part of non CPD persons.
> Thank you,
> Martin Olson
> From: Greg Boudreaux <email@example.com>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Cc: "Martuccio, Joseph" <Joe.Martuccio@cantonohio.gov>
> Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 1:29 PM
> Subject: Canton Police Auxiliary Officers
> Mr. Olsen - Mr. Martuccio asked me to contact you directly regarding the Auxiliary police officers and their being photographed with "Meir [sic] for Sheriff" T-Shirts.
I have spoken with the officers involved and they have been disciplined. I can assure you that this was just a use of bad judgment on their part and a spur of the moment incident.
Auxiliary Officers are all volunteers who provide numerous hours of volunteer service to the City. They provide business checks, home checks, security details, patrols, and work numerous hours during the HOF events.
While we do go over policy matters, they are not as familiar with the Rules and Regulations of the department as a regular, full time police officer.
> It is unfortunate that these officers had this lapse in judgment and I sincerely apologize for their actions in this matter. We are continuing training with all of our Auxiliary officers to ensure that this issue is not repeated.
> Thank you for your concern and I appreciate the diligence in the work that you do.
> Lt. Greg Boudreaux
> Canton Police Department
> Training Bureau
> (330) 438-4512
The SCPR thinks that it ought to be more than a tad disconcerting to everyday, voting Stark Countians that a man who would be sheriff seems to have embraced and promoted a culture that it is understood that "ya gotta do, what ya gotta do" in the way of politiking.
It would be nice if the Maier campaign would be in a position to adopt and adapt via a press release of Boudreaux's statement:
It is unfortunate that these campaign workers/supporters had this lapse in judgment and I sincerely apologize for their actions in this matter. We are continuing training with all of our campaign workers and supporters to ensure that this issue is not repeated.
You can bet your bottom dollar that if the following photo (doctored by the SCPR for blog political commentary illustration purposes) was an actual photo of the work of a rogue Dordea campaign worker, Maier and his brother Johnnie, Jr would be clamoring for an investigation to find the miscreant to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.
Maybe the SCPR has missed an outcry of outrage on the part of the Maier campaign leaders (including, of course, George himself), but The Report is not aware of an effort by the Maier forces to find out the identity of the Maier supporters who are said by a Canton police lieutenant to have prompted the violation of Canton Police Department rules by two of the department's auxiliary officers.
As can be seen in the Boudreaux response, the "political prank" zeal of Maier supporters has been costly to the auxiliaries involved and was a huge embarrassment to the Canton Police Department.
Louis Giavasis thought it was funny, but the SCPR did not, does not and nor should any other Stark County who thinks that official law enforcement should stay out of political campaigns think that such a photo is a proper topic for humor.
Certainly, no elected public official should treat "the crossing of the blue line" as a matter humor.
In fairness to Giavasis, he did pause for thought after the SCPR continued with him as to the ramifications of a campaign via workers/supporters having "crossed the blue line" and involved law enforcement in partisan political activity.
Giavasis is a main player in the Maier campaign.
While he denied knowing anything about the particulars of the incident, the SCPR for one is skeptical that such is the case.