Saturday, July 24, 2010


First of all, a disclaimer:  Yours truly is writing as an opinion journalist and not as an attorney.

The disclaimer is for the benefit of Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero who in January, 2010 filed a disciplinary complaint against yours truly on the basis of work done by the Stark County Political Report (as an opinion journalist) critiquing his office's handling of the Marlboro Police Chief Ron Devies' and son Kyle's case which ended in a dismissal at the conclusion of the State's (Ferrero's office as prosecutor) case.

The complaint was dismissed out-of-hand by the Ohio Supreme Court's Disciplinary Counsel.

As for the Devies case dismissal; they are very rare indeed.  The defense, superbly represented by Jeff Jakimedes (Kyle Devies) and Richard Reinbold (Ron Devies), did not have to put on any part of their case.
The Report was not surprised in the least at the result and predicted something along the lines what materialized all along.  Stark County Common Pleas Judge Lee Sinclair in dismissing the case advanced the cause of justice.

Second, it is now time to consider the Ferrero's "in the newspaper" upbraiding of public interest attorney (pro bono - for the public good)  Craig T. Conley who represents Bethlehem Township resident Tom Marcelli (standing in for the Stark County taxpayers) for costing taxpayers money in his filing of a lawsuit against Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler claiming, in its essence, that Zeigler is "strictly" liable (meaning that Conley does not have to prove negligence on Zeigler's part) for losses of nearly $3 million during Zeigler's time in office.


Yes, that's the SCPR take on this quote of Ferrero in today's Repository, to wit: (as reported by Shane Hoover, Zeigler lawsuit agreement falls apart," to wit:
The prosecutor bristled at Conley's putting pressure on commissioners to pursue the case now, saying that Conley already has done enough in costing the county for Zeigler's defense in the pending case.
Well, apparently Attorney Conley is not taking Ferrero's word for it as to his (Conley's) actions "costing the county for Zeigler's defense in pending the case."

Conley has provided the SCPR with a copy of a public records request he has made on the Stark County prosecutor's office for records which document Ferrero's claim to The Repository (see the actual request below).

The SCPR is not surprised at all by Ferrero's "brist[ling]" as reported in The Repository.   The Report has gotten a number of accounts from law enforcement and Stark County political figures to the effect that Ferrero has a difficult time dealing with the words or actions of others which he finds disagreeable.

One was when he reportedly had an outburst at a political gathering when a discussion about former Stark County Democratic Party chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr's asking long time Stark County Board of Elections member Billy Sherer to step aside from the board in favor of Attorney Sam Ferruccio.

Other outbursts by Ferrero are said to have happened at the Stark County Police Chiefs Association (SCPCA) when discussions were underway about whether or not the SCPCA would support the retention of the "imposed" 0.50 of one percent sales tax as done by Commissioners Bosley, Harmon and Vignos in December, 2008.

The Report has gotten feedback that Ferrero has been less than complimentary (to be euphemistic about it ) about the opinion analysis done by yours truly on various Ferrero activities in and about Stark County. 

Now this outburst on Conley.

Conley has been critical of Ferrero's delay in getting moving against Zeigler because he is concerned that taxpayers will lose their priority on any Zeigler-held assets if there is a judgment against Zeigler.

It seems to the SCPR that John Ferrero thinks only he can criticize.  But nobody had better criticize him.

The Stark County Political Report views Craig Conley as an honorable, courageous man who does more "pro bono" work than most, if not all, Stark County attorneys. 

Now that Conley appears to be in a Ronald Reagan-esque "trust, but verify" modality, what will be Ferrero's action?

Will there be more outbursts?

In a little over two years, John Ferrero will have to run for re-election. The SCPR urges members of the Stark County bar to start mulling over who will oppose him for re-election.  Last time, thanks to Stark County Republican Party chair Jeff Matthews; Ferrero ran unopposed.

A very good curative for the likes of John Ferrero is for them to experience a good stiff dose of political competition.

Will Jeff Matthews blow it again?

Here in the full Conley records request.

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