Thursday, October 7, 2010


Will Stark County interim Treasurer Ken Koher's weekly report to Stark County commissioners last if he is elected to the remainder of former Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler's remaining term?

The SCPR believes they will.

The Report sat down and talked with Koher on Wednesday after the county commissioners' weekly meeting.

He appears to be the "real McCoy" in terms of saying what he means and meaning what he says.  In the accompanying video tape a very impressive thing he said was that in checking with Stark County's investment adviser (under contract with the county for two more years) he made sure that the adviser is covered by bonding and by insurance.

So what's so impressive about that?


It is the extra step he is taking by going back to the original source of the coverage (i.e. the bonding company and insurance company) to get verification that there is actual coverage; not just the adviser's word for it.

Such is exactly what Stark County Auditor Kim Perez should have done when taking bank statements from Vince Frustraci (Zeigler's former chief deputy who admitted to stealing millions from Stark County taxpayers). 

Perez argues that he had no legal authority to command that FirstMerit Bank provide original source statements.  And he is correct.

However, the SCPR believes that his apparently "former" good friend Gary Zeigler would have authorized FirstMerit to provide the original source documents had Perez insisted upon it with Zeigler.  Moreover, there is the persuasive authority of public opinion had Perez been denied original source documents by the bank and Zeigler in combination.  All Perez had to do was make a public issue out of the denial.

How much sooner would the Frustaci theft been discovered had Perez followed Koher's action of seeking original source documentation?  It is hard to say.  But anything earlier than the end of March, 2009 would have better than Frustaci, in effect, by going on vacation revealing himself.  Because he was not in town to cover his tracks, his foul deed was "finally" discovered by state auditors who missed the ongoing theft likely going back to 2001.

Perez did not follow Koher in another important way.

When all Hell broke loose with the handing down of the Bill of Information by federal prosecutors in June, the commissioners asked certain questions of Perez.

How did he answer them?

From the cover of a written communication.

Not in public like Koher is.

Accordingly, Koher is a lot more deserving of being elected than Kim Perez is in being re-elected.  While Koher has to work closely with Perez because both the treasury and the auditor's office work on county financial matters.

The Stark County Political Report believes that Ken Koher is a lot more sensitive to the public's right to know than Kim Perez.

This in and of itself should be Koher in better stead with Stark County voters. Here is the Koher's Weekly Report #2, in full.

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