Monday, March 9, 2009


The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero has declined the opportunity to make an assessment on whether or not Marlboro Township Police Chief Ron Devies and his son are to be charged with committing any crime as an outgrowth of an investigation conducted by Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson.

Instead, Ferrero has opted to present to matter to the Stark County Grand Jury which will hear the prosecution side of the case beginning today.

Chief Devies has told The Report he and his son will present their side of the case to the grand jury next week.

Devies (who was placed on "paid administrative leave" by the Marlboro trustees on January 6th) said he was surprised to learn of the grand jury proceeding yesterday, the 9th, as he and Wolf had sat down over the weekend and discussed a resolution between himself and Trustee Wolf and felt enough progress had been made that he could see "light at the end of the tunnel."

Needless to say, Devies was disappointed by the grand jury news in the light of the progress he and Wolf had made, but expressed confidence that the grand jury would not indict once it has heard the Devies’ version of events allegedly involving Kyle's work for Marlboro Township on its computer system. Devies did contact Wolf after he got the news of the impending grand jury proceeding and was told by Wolf that he was as surprised as Devies was.

Why, The Report asks, didn't Ferrero decide on his own whether or not charges are to be filed against the Devies?

In any event, The Report continues to believe that Trustees Wise and Wolf are “political toast” n Marlboro Township this coming November.

It is clearly a lose-lose situation politically for Wise and Wolf. If the Devies do not get indicted, then political retribution will be in order. If the Devies duo do get indicted; guess what Messers Wise and Wolf - political retribution will be in order.

It is surprising to The Report that Tim Wise would get himself into such a political fix.

His brother Earle E. Wise, Jr. (now city administrator for North Canton) was a long time Stark County assistant prosecutor who ran for Stark County Probate judge in 2002 losing to Republican Dixie Park. In 1992, Wise, Jr. Was the Democratic nominee for Stark County Recorder (having bested current county auditor Kim Perez in the Democratic primary). In the general, E.E., Jr. lost to Republican Jane Vignos.

Tim’s father, Earle E. Wise, Sr., was a one time a powerful Stark County Democrat who teamed up with the recently deceased Roy Gutierrez (the chairman) as law partners in the 1970s through 1980s and from this base lead Stark County Democrats. Wise, Sr served as a judge on the 5th District Court of Appeals for a number of years.

With this political pedigree, why Tim is not a more accomplished politician is indeed a mystery.

Wolf is a different matter. As far as The Report knows, Wolf is a political novice with no prior exposure to politics in the fast lane who may have been motivated to get into local politics as an advocate of “the religious Right” political agenda. One tip-off that this might be the case is Ron Devies account of how (after having just taken office as a newly elected trustee) Wolf came to him with a Sheriff Ray Nash tape telling Devies in effect that the tape expressed his view of how law enforcement should be conducted.

For a taste of the Nash (Wolf’s self-proclaimed model of law enforcement), here is an excerpt of a piece done by Glenn Smith of the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier (February 3, 2008):
Week after week, the hits kept coming, providing fresh fodder for critics who have long taken issue with Nash's management style, spending habits and priorities. They bristle at his faith-flavored approach to law enforcement that some foes say blurs the line between church and state.

The Internet bubbles with bloggers and posters who question the sheriff's links to controversial evangelists and try to paint his character-training initiatives as thinly veiled proselytizing, an attempt to infiltrate law enforcement with cult-like tactics.

Defending his record

Nash, a devout Christian, calls such claims "silly" and says he has never tried to convert employees. He blames his opponents for trying to distort his record, taint his image. He says he has long been the target of an entrenched old guard in Dorchester County that wants him out of the way.
All in all, it seems that both Wise and Wolf have a thing or two to learn about Marlboro Township politics given with whom they were dealing: a highly respected, long term member of the Marlboro community - Police Chief Ron Devies and his son Kyle.

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