Tuesday, July 6, 2010


 UPDATE:  07/06/2010 AT 9:45 AM

Commissioner Todd Bosley has told the SCPR that Auditor Perez will be appearing before the commissioners to answer their questions when he has the called for report ready.  Bosley expects the report to be done prior to the 30 day period prescribed by commissioners in their letter to Perez.


Revised at 7:30 AM

In Stark County, "auditors" are a hot topic these days.  Normally, auditing is pretty boring stuff.

Stark County commissioners are focusing their efforts on the failure to catch Vince Frustaci (who has pled guilty on June 25 in federal court to having stolen about $2.46 million in county funds) on the Ohio Auditor of State Mary Taylor (Taylor) and Stark County Auditor Kim Perez (Perez).

However, it appears to the SCPR that there are different motivations behind the two efforts.

The Report believes that the Taylor initiative is designed as a part of a larger Stark County Democratic plan to assign blame on Taylor whereas the Perez initiative is to be a platform which provides Perez with a politically friendly overture to present cherry-picked information to absolve his office of any responsibility on the failure to catch.

There is no suggestion that Perez compensate the county, if information surfaces that indicates a county auditor failure to catch.

Here are copies of the two letters sent out by commissioners on Wednesday.

First, to Taylor.  (By the way, a Taylor spokesman says that Mary will not be appearing before the Stark County commissioners in response to the letter)

Second, to Perez.

However, the commissioners have not exercised statutory authority to do a direct examination of the Stark treasury's books nor have they asked Treasurer Zeigler or Auditor Perez to come in for a public Q&A session as they have Taylor.

So how about the commissioners themselves?

Ohio Revised Code Section 321.11 has been pointed out to The Report as a statutory enactment of long standing (1953) which gives them to right to assure themselves as county officials that all is well with the treasurer's office, to wit:

A factor that has not been widely reported upon, are the "social/civic/political/familial" factors between Perez, Zeigler, Frustaci and Stark County sheriff (Swanson - whose office was involved in the Frustaci investigation under the guidance of the auditor's brother Rick Perez - a chief deputy poised to become the Stark County sheriff when Swanson quits). Perez, Zeigler and Swanson are all Demoratic county office holders.

Social/civic/political and familial?

Examples, please!


The SCPR is told by a source that before March, 2009 Frustaci vacation trip to Florida, it was practically a daily occurrence that Kim Perez, Gary Zeigler and Vince Frustaci would have lunch together.


Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson has written at least one letter to the editor of The Repository (in recent times) defending Zeiglier's managing of the Stark treasury. 

On October 24, 2008 Vince Frustaci wrote a letter (Swanson is widely respected in state, local law enforcement) to The Rep's editor endorsing Sheriff Swanson over Republican Larry Dordea in their 2008 match up.


According to the SCPR's best recollection, Zeigler, Swanson and Ferrero have run as a "law enforcement team" in past (2004?). However, the triumvirate did not last as The Report remembers Ferrero dropping out of the three-way campaign because of differences between the three.


Zeigler's son is employed by Stark County Auditor Kim Perez in the auditor's office.  The SCPR source says that Zeigler has described his son's work in the auditor's office as preparing one day to succeed Zeigler as county treasurer.

By Ohio ethics law, relatives cannot work from one another.   It is common practice (especially among Democrat officeholders) for them to hire each other's family members.  However, the official line is always that in hiring the fellow officeholder's relative, the hiring official was getting "the best available person" for the job.

Recorder Rick Campbell says this about his employment of his Chief Deputy Recorder Kody Gonzalez (son of Stark County Democratic Party kingpin Randy Gonzalez).

As a final note, the SCPR recites the following about Auditor Kim Perez's office.

On Friday, June 25th (the day of the former Stark County Treasury Chief Deputy Frustaci "bill of information" press conference), the SCPR got a call from the Stark County Auditor's office (not Perez himself) which The Report suspects to have been a feigning of an inability to get in contact with Pat DeLuca of "The DeLuca Show."

Why the thought of feigning?

Because, when contacted by the SCPR,  DeLuca said that he had not received a message from Perez's office.  However, he had yet to checked voice mails at his station, which were not available to him over the weekend.

Also, an e-mail sent to Perez (a copy of which was sent to The Report) asking for his resignation had DeLuca's e-mail address on it.

So - in hindsight - the obvious question to the caller by yours truly should have been:   If you can't get through on the phone, why not just dash off an e-mail?  Because that is how the SCPR contacted DeLuca.

DeLuca had criticized Perez and called for his resignation with reference to DeLuca's belief that Perez failed Stark Countians in ferreting out the $2.46 million theft from the Stark treasury that former Stark Treasurer former Chief Deputy pleaded guilty to in federal court on June 25th..

What would have been the motivation for the suspected feigning?

Answer:  To get The Report to defend Perez to DeLuca.  The caller had a perception that the SCPR  and DeLuca are close.

Close (an articulated perception of the auditor official) or not, it was a serious miscalculation for the caller to think that The Report would be so undiscerning as to not raise questions (in terms of thinking it over) about why such a call would come from out-of-the-blue.

When The Report published a blog asking questions of Perez's office as a follow up to DeLuca's Facebook "open letter, " then the Perez aide's attitude to yours truly turned negative.  "You blindsided us," he said.


"We've bent over backwards to comply with your public information requests," he said.  Hmm?

So Perez's office, apparently, is a respecter of persons when doing its statutorily mandated public records response?

Isn't that interesting?  

Well, the SCPR does not ask for preferred public service from Stark County based government officials.  Just comply with the law!

The officeholder in providing the SCPR the requested information was merely complying with Ohio's open records law. The Report demands nothing more and will accept nothing less!

Public officials need to focus on doing their jobs and quit trying to massage/manipulate the media.

And, the media has to have the discernment to know when they are being manipulated.

And, by the way, the SCPR did offer Perez an opportunity to defend himself from DeLuca's call for his resignation by putting the defense/response together in an e-mail which The Report will then publish the response either as an update to the original blog or in a new blog.  Such is standard practice for the SCPR whenever a subject of a SCPR blog disagrees with The Report's opinion.

Moreover, The Report has asked both DeLuca and the auditor's office via e-mail whether or not they have contacted one another.  So far The Report has received no answer from either. Accordingly, it appears that Perez's effort to contact was a ruse.

As stated at the outset of this blog, normally discussions about auditor offices is boring stuff.

But not in 2010 in Stark County, Ohio!!!

Auditor Perez does have a lot of questions to answer.

It is just a short jaunt down the hall from Perez's office to the commissioners' meeting room.

Why don't the commissioners insist on having Kim Perez in for questions?  After all, one of the commissioners told yours truly that somewhere during the unfolding of the Frustaci matter, Perez contacted the Taylor with the admonition "you have a problem in the Stark County treasurer's office."

A Perez spokesman, when asked if the commissioner's statement was accurate, said:  "It may be?"

So this is a for instance of questions that Perez needs to answer in public.

Thirty days to submit a report?  No public Q&A?


Sounds like Democrats (all three commissioners) protecting a Democrat, doesn't it?

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