Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Apparently, Sheriff Tim "Poop on the Public" Swanson is trying to jam his successor down the throat of the Stark County public.  Very consistent, wouldn't you say?  A man who, by his own words, demonstrates contempt for the Stark County citizenry.

Recently, the Signature Class of Leadership Stark County visited the Stark County Jail complex as part of its training program. It just so happens that one of Sheriff Swanson's chief deputies, Rick Perez, is a member of the Signature group.  Of course, Perez was the star attraction at his home base and his boss had to show off a bit in front of Perez's peers.

It is encouraging that Perez made it into the leadership class.  Either someone sees a potential in the man that many of the rest of us Stark Countians do not see or they see that Perez is a cop with a powerful position who needs some intense training on how to demonstrate quality, effective leadership.

Swanson, showing off in what way?

First, a little political history, please.

Undoubtedly, Swanson has been reading the SCPR and noticing that other Stark County elected officials are honing the fine art of dictating who succeeds them in office.  And Perez may be an opportunity for the sheriff to show off that he can do just as well.

Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts Phil Giavasis is Stark County's classic example.

When former Canton clerk Tom Harmon "sort of retired" (sort of because almost immediately after retiring, he     became a Stark County commissioner),  Phil Giavasis, who was Stark County clerk of courts at the time of the Harmon "sort of retirement," decided that he needed to jump ship for the greener pastures (more money which or course mean more money in the immediate sense and, of course, a better retirement).

A number of Stark Countians were interested in becoming Phil's successor; one being Lawrence Township trustee Mike Stevens.  He sought the county clerk Giavasis' blessing or maybe even anointing.

But Giavasis was having none of it.  He scolded Stevens for having the audacity to even ask.  This self-appointed Stark County kingmaker had already decided that his protege Nancy Reinbold (wife of former Common Pleas judge Richard Reinbold who is now running for the Ohio Senate against Scott Oleslager) would be the new county clerk.

Other examples abound, too.

In a famous one that backfired, appointed county commissioner Steve Meeks (when he went from being a Jackson trustee to being newly elected Governor Ted Strickland's region 9 "eyes and ears,"} tried to have wife Patty elected his successor.

Jackson voters were so offended at the Meeks move that they elected unknown and undistinguished Republican Jamie Walters as trustee.  And. by the way, Walters is still largely unknown outside of Jackson Township and certainly he remains undistinguished, but it is not keeping him from running for Stark County commissioner.

Many Stark County Democrat elected leaders don't appear to do a very good job providing leadership for the county, but they do excel at moving around among various county and municipal jobs in kind of a merry-go-round of "what's in it for me" politics. 

Back to Swanson and Perez.

The word is that as Swanson addressed the Leadership Stark County group he went way over the top and told the group that Perez would be "your" next Stark County sheriff.

The SCPR for one takes exception to the sheriff.  He may find that a whole host of other Stark Countians; that is, when Perez has to stand before the voters, might take exception too.  The Report believes that Perez will not be Stark County's next sheriff after the politicians appoint him and he has to stand for election.

Perez has a long line of political enemies within Stark County law enforcement.  He wasn't that well liked in the law enforcement community to begin with and then he blundered (in the exercise of judgment) big time in his conduct of the investigation into allegations made by then trustee Tim Wise of Marlboro Township about police Chief Ron Devies and his son over, what turned out to be, misunderstandings in the transitioning of the township's computer maintenance from the Devies son to an area company.


How so?

Perez decided to secretly wear a wire when interviewing Chief Devies.  The Perez wearing the wire caper swirled through Stark Copy policedom.  And the reaction  wasn't "what a terrific idea."  It was deemed as a grievous violation of trust by most.

Moreover, Perez's work product proved to be so deficient that Stark County chief criminal prosecutor Dennis Barr got his case dismissed without the defense to having to put on any evidence at all.

And there is the matter of Perez being a "retire, rehire" himself.  He didn't even stand for election like Swanson did.  Swanson himself accorded him this blessing by virtue of being the boss.

Perez may be able to bypass all of his negatives with an anointing - err appointing - when Swanson retires yet again, but all his public performance history will be out there in full view when he has to stand before the electorate.

Do  you think the Stark County voting public is going to embrace this guy?

Probably not.

But Tim Swanson does and he is apparently poised to  try to stack the deck for Perez.

The Report continues to think that Swanson will step down soon so that Perez can and very likely will be appointed (with Swanson's help) by the Stark County Central Committee which is controlled by Perez's good friend and Stark County Democratic Party chair Randy Gonzalez who is also real thick with the sheriff.

Don't you just love Stark County politics and how the likes of Giavasis, Meeks and Swanson think they are entitled to call the shots for all of us!

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