Saturday, March 28, 2009


CORRECTION: 03/28/2009 AT 11:55 AM. Jack DeSario was a "political consultant" to William J. Healy, II in his race for mayor of Canton; not "campaign manager" as stated below. A SCPR thank you to the TeamHealy member who wrote in to point out the error.

These days Canton Mayor William J. Healy, II is probably saying to himself: "I'd rather be lucky than smart." That is quiet a leap for Healy who prides himself on and widely touts himself as being a graduate of the New York University Stern School of Business."

But a politician has to do what a politician must do to survive.

And Healy's luck may be turning?

Earlier this week Governor Ted Strickland announced Stark County's share of federal stimulus money: $21.5 million.

Guess where most of it, if not all, goes?

You've got it. To the city of Canton.

Remember that the governor has a huge stake in the survival of the Healy administration.

How's that?

It took Strickland (according to Jack DeSario) to get DeSario to agree to become the campaign manager of the TeamHealy Committee (the Mayor's campaign committee).

Some Stark Countians believe DeSario's involvement was a key to Healy's victory over Republican Janet Creighton. Although DeSario denies that he had anything to do with Healy being able to attract campaign donations from Cuyahoga County political figures, a number of local political observers are skeptical of the denial.

It has long been a sticking point with Stark County Democratic officials and undoubtedly the likes of Chris Redfern (chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party who personally donated $5,000 to the Healy campaign), that Canton (before Healy's election) was the only one of Ohio's eight major cities not to have a Democrat as mayor.

So it stands to reason, once your man wins you will do anything the law allows for to keep him in office, although his performance on the job indicates that he is heading pell mell for failure.

Hum? Stimulus money? Canton's economy is going nowhere? So why wouldn't the governor who is an arch-Healy supporter, with tons of discretionary authority, direct the money where certainly a huge need exists, (Canton has an 11.5% unemployment rate) and - by the way - co-incidentally props up a political ally?

Now on to the Swanson factor.

It could be that Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson is so deficient in manpower that he cannot conduct expeditious and efficient investigations.

If such is the case, Swanson needs to farm out his work to less busy investigatory units - especially when there may be a political dynamic to the matter being investigated.

Maybe the STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) is just seeing things that don't exist, but it does appear to The Report that Swanson has tough time being expeditious and efficient in investigation on politically sensitive cases.

The Report believes that Marlboro Township Devies case is an example of a "slowdown." In the judgment of The Report, there is no way it should have taken over two months for Swanson to make a determination of whether or not Marlboro Police Chief Ron Devies and his son Kyle may have violated Ohio's criminal laws in course of Kyle being a township employee working the township's computer system.

The Report has an advantage over the readers of this blog. The Report has a working knowledge of the intricacies, relationships and connections of Stark County politics from both sides of the isle.

The Report does not believe Tim Swanson is dumb enough to let the fact that Ron Devies openly supported his opponent (Republican Larry Dordea) in Swanson's 2008 re-election campaign be a motivation in how the Devies matter has been handled.

If politics were involved in what The Report perceives to be a slowdown, and The Report emphasizes the IF, then the politicizing factor would have been far more subtle and virtually untraceable to the average observer.

The Report does not know whether or not politics were a factor in the perceived slowdown in the Devies investigation nor, for that matter, in the Healy investigation. But The Report does know that political relationships and connections exist deep within the Stark County political establishment which could - if were ever know the truth of the matter - end up being factors.

Okay, assuming The Report's perception is correct and there was indeed a slowdown in Devies; such begs the question:


The Report believes that the investigators were having a difficult time finding (criminal charge wise) something to nail the Devies' with. And there were a couple of township trustees rear-ends to protect (from possible civil suits, if nothing else - NOTE: the SCPR has learned that Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero sent "civil side" legal counsel to the last Marlboro Township trustee meeting to advise the trustees during the meeting). And, maybe just maybe, political pressure (from the deep recesses of Stark County political relationships and connections) was being brought to bear to find something.

Well, how does The Report's take on Devies factor into the Healy situation.

Pretty much the same, but with one important difference. In the Healy situation, the political push (if there is one) from Stark County's deep political recesses would be the opposite of what The Report speculates in the Devies matter.

In Healy, The Report's conjectured reasoning is that slowdown is needed to give time for the local political climate surrounding the Mayor to cool down. Once matters cool down, then it would be easier to sell a "no bill" to the awaiting public.

Whether or not The Report is correct in its analysis, one thing is for sure.

The political survivability of Mayor Healy is looking better everyday.

Healy may in time join in on a chorus with his TeamHealy devotees, the New York Sun editor September 21, 1897 penned the refrain: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

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