An interesting e-mail response to yesterday's blog that the Stark County commissioners might want to take a look at given that the 2016 Fiscal Year budget processes are underway.
Looking at your blog, I can't help but see what is wrong with our criminal justice system.
Comparing the salaries of the Sheriff's Office employees with those posted on previous blogs for the Public Defender's Office and County Prosecutor's Office, it is clear that the system is designed to result in incarceration.
When we have corrections officers, deputies, and support staff at the jail making as much or more than public defenders and prosecutors who are responsible for representing "the public" and people being charged with crimes.
The "justice system" claims that its priority is justice, but there is an saying "don't tell me what your priorities are, show me your checkbook and I'll tell you what your priorities are."
The Commissioners checkbook shows that they are way more interested in locking people up than they are in making sure there is competent legal representation for those charged with crimes or reviewing the cases file by law enforcement.
Even the Sheriff's administrative assistant makes more than those who are making life altering decisions on a daily basis.
Clearly the so called criminal justice sales tax is all about increasing incarceration not improving the criminal justice system otherwise we wouldn't be paying the guy standing in the back of the courtroom watching the prisoners more than the lawyers representing them.
The reports keep rolling in to The Stark County Political Report from the resident "Leaker-in-Chief" within the bowels of 4500 Atlantic Boulevard.
George T. Maier has, it appears to the SCPR, continued with a vengeance his mission to politicize the personnel employed at the sheriff's office (LINK) to be politically loyal to him personally.
The Stark County Sheriff's office has 244 (as of 7/21/2015) employees.
Quite a playground for a highly political sheriff to play in, no?
The Report has many sources who are of the opinion that the bulk of recent hires (since February 5, 2012, the day Maier was appointed sheriff by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee) are people who first and foremost "Pledge Allegiance to George T. Maier."
Though the deputies are unionized, it seems according to anecdotal reports that Maier is running roughshod over the union leadership and, to the degree he can, including day-in, day-out deputies in his politicization scheme.
Here is the latest allegation from the SCPR's "inside the Sherriff's Department" source:
The Sheriff placed another one of his political "pets", Deputy ... in the ... position.
A clerk held this position.
When the our union asked the Sheriff why THIS officer was placed in position.
His response, it's temporary.
Fast forward to almost Sept. ... is still in position. NO postings, no interviews, no seniority, nothing.
... is also the [spouse] of a retired Deputy ... Last year during the campaign trial, [retired deputy] was able to enjoy driving a County cruiser in the parade as a private citizen.
With the 2016 Fiscal Year budget requests, Maier is asking the Stark County commissioners for $1 million Stark County taxpayer dollars more than he got in 2015 in order to expand his staff.
No doubt the leadership of the Stark County Democratic Party are licking their chops at the prospect of placing party loyalists on the payroll of Sheriff Maier.
As yours truly has written many times over before today's blog Stark Countians may have made a huge mistake in electing this man sheriff.
It appears to the SCPR Maier lacks necessary character traits to warrant being the county's chief law enforcement officer.
Sooner or later, The Report believes, Maier will generate huge problems for Stark County government as a consequence of the high handed way he runs the sheriff's department with the focus being on personal political loyalty to him.
It may be that Maier is preparing for a family line of succession.
The SCPR learned yesterday from a source in a position to know that Jackson Township is considering hiring George's son Michael as a township police officer.
The source says that if he lands the job, one day Michael will be police chief of the Jackson Police Department.
Another factor that might play into Michael Maier wanting to hire on in Jackson (if reports of his applying there are accurate) is that Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry loses in November (as many expect she will), then Michael would no longer have an obvious path to becoming MPD police chief. Being civil service, his job would be protected. But one day becoming chief probably would not be realistic.
The premise that Michael Maier one day being the chief in Jackson sounds reasonable to the SCPR.
For one of George T. Maier's foremost supporters is Jackson Township fiscal officer Randy Gonzalez.
And The Report has had many Jacksonians opine that Randy is THE political power broker in Jackson. So "With [Randy] all things are possible," - especially in Jackson Township, if not beyond - no?
Who knows, perhaps Michael is being groomed to one day replace his father as Stark County sheriff?
Michael is currently in a civil service protected position (but not without legal controversy that was sort of resolved by the Stark County Court of Common Pleas) with the Massillon Police Department.
The controversy began while Father George was safety director in Massillon. During the legal controversy, George sat in on a Massillon Civil Service Commission hearing involving the legal challenge to Michael's promotion the sergeant over a MPD officer who scored higher on the civil service exam when a preference was calculated in.
The commission (later overturned by the courts as cited above) chose Michael over the competing officer.
Now don't you suppose that majority commission members might just have been a tad cognizant of George's presence?
Is Sheriff George T. Maier using the vendors operation (which provides personal items and the like to Stark County Jail prisoners) to reward his political friends?
It is well known that George and his brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. have close ties with various members of the Elum family of Massillon.
A source provided me with a tip a few months ago that Sheriff Maier was now doing vendors business with Elum Music Company.
And in a public records request to Major Brian Arnold, lo and behold! look at - as of February 19, 2015 - what and extract from the records show:
On July 31st George Maier shows what he will do for his political loyalists.
Yours truly thinks one of the most fanatical George T. Maier fans in Stark County is soon-to-be Stark County Clerk of Courts Louis G. Giavasis, brother of Stark County Democratic Party chairman Phil Giavasis (also clerk of courts, Canton Municipal Court).
Here is a picture that Louis (a Plain Township trustee) posted on his Facebook page for a short time.
Yours truly was in Sweden and therefore missed out on this.
The Report is told that Maier trooped into the Stark County commissioners weekly meeting of July 31st with six (6) deputies in tow to stand with Louis as he was sworn as "interim" Stark County clerk of courts replacing the retiring as of the 31st Nancy Reinbold.
The Report would have liked to been there with camera in hand.
Stark County taxpayers should be outraged that Maier pulls six county law enforcement employees off the job to show his political loyalty to Giavasis.
Maybe the SCPR is missing something.
Has some state or federal accrediting agency declared the sheriff's service are crime free?
The SCPR has been writing about Louis' inside track to become her successor for a couple of years now.
On September 10th, at the Steelworkers Golden Lodge down on Harrison, the political coronation takes place.
Over time, The Report predicts, will replicate the politicism of his hero George T. Maier.
The patronage dispensing leadership of the Stark County Democratic Party will have a field day in a Louis Giavasis led Stark County clerk of courts office, don't you think?
The sum of all things is that the SCPR thinks George T. Maier uses politics to play the role of being God Almighty and therefore, notwithstanding his policing experience, needs to be closely watched so that Stark County does not find itself in another "crisis of confidence" that consumed county government beginning on April 1, 2009 and the beginning of "the time of sorrows" at the Stark County treasury.
On August 17th, the SCPR did a more particularized blog of how yours truly believes George T. Maier is going about a systematic politicization of the Stark County' sheriff's office.
Here is a repeat of that blog and further justification of why George T. Maier is richly deserving of being Stark County's absolutely worst elected official:
As the Stark County Political Report sees it, neither Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier nor his brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. should be elected officials.
Stark County and Massillon voters, obviously not knowing the high degree of political paranoia that The Report thinks each of Maier brothers are afflicted with, have unwittingly placed the "bros" in positions of public trust from which they can - in pursuit of their personal political interests and objectives - inflict pressure on those who work for them to put personal political loyalty to them above the public interest.
Johnnie is a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman who many think still runs the party from behind the curtain is a sort of Wizard of Oz fashion who is the Massillon clerk of courts.
Both George and Johnnie, were it not for their political paranoia (which, unfortunately, is a common malady among politicians), are run-of-the-mill politico-government worker (i.e. nothing exceptional; merely journeyman-esque) in the sense of being able to do the basic functions of the offices they old.
But it seems to the SCPR that these two guys are so much into personal political loyalty that perhaps it really does seep down into the way they administer their particular offices to the point that "the personal loyalty factor" becomes the main thing and serving the public is an "oh! by the way" thing.
As an example of what in concrete ways loyalty to a Maier might entail, The Report shares with readers a story as told by Lawrence Township trustee Michael Stevens (running for re-election this coming November) tells when he was serving as the Ohio House Democratic Caucus appointee to succeed Johnnie as the-then state representative (on the brink of being term limited out) for the 56th (now, more or less the 50th) Ohio House District.
Stevens on a routine day in his office at the Ohio House was in the midst of a telephone call with a constituent. While on telephone with the constituent, Stevens received a call from Maier, Jr.Stepping outside the story, what do you SCPR reader think Maier, Jr's reaction was to having had to play second fiddle to a Stevens constituent and what's more a taxpaying citizen of his district?
Stevens' administrative aide came to him interrupting with the message that Johnnie was on the phone.
As it turns out, the aide knew the Johnnie A. Maier, Jr expectation whereas Stevens did not. Naively, as it turns out, he thought the constituent was the priority.
Steeped deep in his belief that ordinary persons back home trumped the likes of Maier, Jr, Stevens told the aide to tell Johnnie that he would get back to him just as soon as the constituent telephone call ended.
After the constituent call ended, Stevens immediately called Maier, Jr. back.
____ Michael, what a terrific representative your are. You have your priorities straight!
____ Michael, when I call you you better damn well from here on out drop everything and ditch the constituent and get on the phone with me!!
Anybody who knows Johnnie A. Maier, Jr knows the answer is the latter and definitely not the former.
Just one more story from Maier, Jr's days in the Ohio House.
Yours truly's daughter while a student at The Ohio State University was a page assigned to Johnnie's office but at the call of the general obligations of the House support administration.
Heidi tells stories of Maier putting her in positions of personal political loyalty to him opposed to her responsibility as an employee of the State of Ohio and by extension the taxpayers of Ohio.
On at least one occasion, she got herself with House administrative leadership.
The only redeeming thing about Johnnie is that he did come to her defense in the incident mentioned.
However, she should not have been put in that position in the first place, no?
But that is what people who focus on personal political loyalty will do.
Heidi was most fortunate. Mostly people like her get "thrown under the bus."
When George was elected sheriff, yours truly said that The Report expected George to pursue a course as the head of Stark County's countywide law enforcement apparatus which course could prove to be disastrous for the public's confidence in county government.
Stark County has already been through a "crisis of confidence" with the Stark County treasury beginning in April, 2009 which only ended with the-then treasurer Gary D. Zeigler (originally a Stark County Democratic Party appointee  like George T. Maier [February, 2013]) retiring/resigning on October 19, 2011.
The context will undoubtedly be different, but the destabilizing effect on Stark County government will be just as profound if - as the SCPR thinks he will - Sheriff Maier continues what yours truly believes is his course of action to totally and completely politicize employment with the Stark County sheriff's office to include an unstated/unwritten but clearly understood requirement of "personal political loyalty" to George T. Maier.
When George T. Maier (once appointed to the second in command in the Ohio Department of Highway Safety, The Report surmises through the political connection of brother Johnnie to former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland) took office, The Report repeatedly chided him that he needed to make one of his first hires from among the plumbing trade inasmuch as the leaks to the The Stark County Political Report from within the bowels of the the county sheriff's office (on personnel matters) approaches the flood stage.
Today's blog is focused who some particulars on that front that George is reportedly up to.
But first why would the SCPR has concerns about George T. Maier having high-handed ways as an department of government administrator.
Readers should take a few minutes and read this (LINK) account from his days as number 2 in the Ohio Department of Highway Safety.
Now granted that was some time ago and one might argue that he has matured as Sheriff George T. Maier.
We should only wish.
If anything, The Report thinks Maier the sheriff has regressed.
Picking up on his needing a plumber thing as written above, reports that the SCPR receives from leakers from deep inside the sheriff's department, Maier now that he #1 and having been elected and therefore accountable to no one except the voters in the 2016 election indicate that his arrogance grows by the day.
Here are some the allegations being leveled at George T. Maier in terms of his administration of the sheriff's office:
- A sergeant in the department seemingly because of his alleged political support of Maier has the sheriff's cell number and is thought to have parlayed such access into an "I'm untouchable" stance notwithstanding incidents which occurred during his supervision stint that were not dealt with by Maier for some three months.
- Maier was reportedly told going back to September, 2014 that the rank-and-file deputies had no confidence in the leadership of the sergeant.
- The point is that "property political alignment" is suspected by some deputies as being the reason that the offending sergeant was not dealt with sooner.
- Though Maier did post a job to be filled (a 25 year retiring employee) on a child abuse/sex offender investigator position and promised interviews; no interviews were conducted and Maier ended up - according to The Report's source - rehiring the retired investigator (retire/rehire which is contra a policy for Stark County government as promulgated by the Stark County commissioners),
- With respect to the SCPR's blog on Maier's plan to rent out spare jail space to Summit County this comment from an inside source:
- I read your report today. HAHAHAHA!!! Housing Summit County inmates. A JOKE!!! We have NO ROOM NOW. Though our number might be under 500.You have to consider we have over 20 inmates on medical housing,then we have the mentally ill area (30,maybe at times more). You can't house mentally ill with violent offenders. These are things the public does not know about. NOT even sure IF the Sheriff himself knows.
- More on point with the tenor of this blog about the inordinate role that politics plays in George T. Maier's administration of personnel matters, take look at these observations:
- I've learned that it's very common for Sheriff Maier to flex his authority within the office. My sources could not confirm what Maier said during his meeting, but it does not sound out of character for him.
- It's well recognized within the Sheriff's Office, that specialized positions such as Evidence/Property Officer, Detective, Child Support Officer, Sex Abuse Investigator, School Resource Officer are assigned to loyal campaign supporters of Sheriff George Maier.
- Deputy Rick Stauffer was recently reassigned from the Inmate Transport Officer to County Detective. Stauffer was such a proud supporter of George Maier, he used his antique fire truck to display Maier for Sheriff signs in several local parades.
- Deputy John Von Spiegle who retired from the Stark County Sheriff's Office last year, was just REHIRED by Sheriff Maier as the Sex Abuse Investigator. The same position he retired from last year. Von Spiegle can be seen in several of parade photos from George Maier's campaign.
- Deputy Laura Blackstock was just announced as one of two new Lake Local School Resource Officers. Blackstock is currently in training on the Road Patrol Division. So when she starts her new assignment as a School Resource Officer, she'll have three months of Road Patrol training/experience. She was also a proud supporter of George Maier's campaign.
- Deputy Mike Greene was rehired by Sheriff George Maier this year after he lost his job as Judge Belden's bailiff in Canton Municipal Court. Greene's rehiring was expedited and bypassed the normal hiring process. He was also a proud campaign supporter of George Maier, prior to him being rehired. I'm learning from my sources that the "Friends-N-Benefits" list with Sheriff George Maier keeps growing longer and longer.
- Today it was passed on to me that 5 road patrol deputies put letters of request to be transferred to Jail Operations. UHM? This is due to position of property/evidence officer being given to an officer who has NO experience in such a position. Ask yourself why would they want to put there hard work in to solving a case an have the evidence/property not handled correctly for a conviction.
- The following comments may harken back to George T. Maier's attitude as #2 in the Ohio Department of Public Safety: to wit
- It was mentioned at the union meeting [probably held on July 21st] the Sheriff has made it clear he will place WHO he wants WHERE he wants. Experience, seniority do not matter.
- Our moral is at the lowest I have seen .When the moral issue was brought up at the union. A union board member stated that Major Stantz told the same union board member, moral is great he sees no issues. It is my opinion, Major Stantz only speaks to his fellow George T. Maier groupies.
Stantz has seemingly to the SCPR replaced Derrek Loy has Maier's chief administrative and political enforcer with in the department.
Stantz used to out do himself in being "apparently" friendly to the SCPR in the early days of Maier's coming to 4500 Atlantic Blvd. Of course, The Report knew what was at play and played the game with him.
Nowadays, Stantz just passes by as if he doesn't have a clue as to yours truly's identity.
Now that he has jumped from being Lt. Stantz to being Major Stantz, that is.
How disappointing for top level law enforcement official who drinks at the trough of Stark County taxpayers to think he can disrespect citizens on the obvious command of a politicized sheriff.
So there you have it Stark Countians.
You have made your choice and The Report thinks it is only a matter of time until "all Hell breaks lose" at the Stark County sheriff's office.
When daughter Heidi was the Statehouse she says Maier, Jr. would pester her about what yours truly thought of him and his public persona?
Well, Johnnie, why not ask me?
Clue to the answer.
Even back in those day it was clear to me that political paranoia was in full play with Johnnie.
And, it is a compliment that he knew intuitively that such
If anything, it has grown.
It appears that Johnnie being the older of the two brothers has passed this characteristic on.
And that is not a good thing for the citizens of Massillon nor those of Stark County!