Thursday, January 15, 2009


UPDATE: January 16, 2009. Here is a link to a Plain Dealer story in which Mount Union (Alliance) political science professor and North Canton resident Jack DeSario (who worked with the Healy mayoralty campaign) denies that he had any role in fundraising from Cuyahoga County political figures caught up in the FBI investigation.

The story also does confirm that the FBI has talked with Stark County chief administrator Michael Hanke and Healy chief of staff Thomas Bernabei.

As an aside, the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that it appears that Mayor Healy is so distracted by all the hubbub of the workers' compensation managed care discussion that Bernabei seems to be operating as the de facto mayor of Canton.

Another interesting Stark County tidbit is a tip from a Stark County source to the effect that there is also a Jack DeSario connection to the last Stark County Auditor Kim Perez campaign. Perez also got campaign contributions from some of the Cuyahoga County figures. Undoubtedly, (as in Healy) DeSario, if asked, would be denying that he had anything to do with Perez receiving these campaign donations.

The Report recalls that Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. has been known to recommend to various Stark County Democratic political candidates that they consider using DeSario as a political consultant.

Also, Maier appointed DeSario to the committee to screen candidates to recommend to Governor Ted Strickland to fill a Stark County Common Pleas Court vacancy which came about when Republican Sara Lioi was appointed to the federal bench by President Bush. Ultimately, Taryn Heath received the Strickland appointment.


On December 14, 2009 The Repository did an article on a decision made by Canton Mayor William Healy to change the company that manages Canton's workers' compensation claims.

Why was the change newsworthy?

Because the company (1-888-OHIOCOMP) that was changed to has been mentioned in an FBI corruption investigation being conducted in Cuyahoga County.

A point of interest in The Rep's piece was whether or not Healy's decision to make the change had anything to do with campaign contributions received by Healy's campaign for mayor from 888-OHIOCOMP company associates and as well as two Cuyahoga County officials (Frank Russo, the auditor and Jimmy Dimora, a county commissioner) who are being investigated by the FBI.

Healy denied that the change was in anyway connected to the campaign contributions.

So why would the Plain Dealer and the FBI be calling the Stark County Board of Commissioners as the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) learned to be the case today?

Mostly likely because of The Rep's December 14th report which recites that "the mayor spoke with Stark County officials about the possibility of switching the county's workers' compensation business [then placed with and remains with AultComp] to 888-OHIOCOMP" and county officials' response confirming the Healy contact as reported by The Rep, to wit:
Stark County Administrator Michael Hanke and Commissioner Todd Bosley both said their discussions with Healy were not lengthy and that the mayor did not pressure them. Stark County stayed with the same vendor, AultComp.
Today, The Plain Dealer reports (Feds subpoena records from North Royalton on 1-888-Ohio Comp, Joseph O'Malley) the scope of the FBI is widening.

The question for Stark Countians and Cantonians is this. Will the Healy administration be asked to provide records to the FBI?

A prompting factor might have been generated by a comment to The Plain Dealer Story:
Posted by JosephSmith on 01/14/09 at 8:41AM

Perhaps the FBI should also subpoena records from the city of Canton while they're at it. Our fair city mysteriously changed to 888-Ohio-Comp after the election of our new mayor who just happens to be a democrat.
Mayor Healy admitted that he did indeed receive contributions from the key players of this firm.
FBI...please follow up on this.

These are indeed interesting times for Stark County and Canton. It will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings in this unfolding drama.


Anonymous said...

When it all comes out in the wash, we will find out that with all the important decisions that were facing Healy in the first year, this should have been left alone until he got grips on spending/budget. He strong armed the HR Department into making this decision. Pay Backs! Pay To Play!

Anonymous said...

You always ask why the Rep isn't more involved in the AEP rate increase story ..... why aren't they all over this story?

Nothing in over a month from the Rep, but the story obviously hasn't stopped.

Maybe this is just another reason why people in Healy's administration are thinking about leaving? So, when the proverbial poop hits the fan, they won't get splashed on?