Saturday, November 14, 2009



The SCPR broke the news to soon-to-be Hartville police chief Larry Dordea that the current chief George Dragovich was coming home to roost in the form of a lawsuit filed against Dordea and other village officials (including, obviously, current chief George Dragovich) because of the villiage's alleged treatment of former village police officer Aaron Bardwell.

Republican Dordea was recently elected councilman-at-large in Alliance (where his home is located, and, it is widely believed that he will be running for Stark County sheriff in 2012.

Dordea told the SCPR that he had not yet received a copy of the complaint filed by Bardwell's attorney Celeste DeHoff.

DeHoff is also known in Stark County as a Tuscarawas Township trustee and defeated Democratic candidate for the Ohio House (50th) in a 2008 contest with Todd Snitchler of Lake Township.

Edd Pritcherd of The Repository summarizes the complaint this way in today's edition:
Bardwell claims he was harassed, humiliated, belittled and embarrassed because of Dragovich’s conduct and because of the lack of action by the village’s mayor and council when they were told of the police chief’s behavior.

The dispute between Bardwell and Dragovich goes back to 2007, according to the lawsuit. It’s led to Bardwell being placed on an unpaid administrative leave earlier this month.

Dordea further said that there has been talk around village hall over the past several months that Bardwell was contemplating litigation, but that lawsuit talk from this quarter or that quarter is commonplace and that he had no specific indication that Bardwell was about to file on November 10th (this past Tuesday).


The SCPR has been amazed how long Dragovich has held on in Hartville.  There have been a number of controversies which have dogged the police chief, but he is proving to be a cat that literally has nine lives.

In an ironic sort of way, it is likely that Dragovich will "officially" announce his retirement within the next two weeks.

Had he retired in 2006 as he told village officials back then, Hartville would not be where it is today.

The SCPR sees Mayor Edsel Tucker as dropping the ball in coaxing Dragovich out.

Now he and all of Council and to be successor chief Larry Dordea have to deal with the "Dragovich chicken coming home to roost."

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