Friday, July 15, 2011


It was truly amazing to read the letter sent by Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler to Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero on Wednesday.

Here read it for yourself.


It has been clear from April 1, 2009 (the date that he fired Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci) that Gary Zeigler is not a "the buck stops here" public official (a la Harry Truman) even though Ohio law seems to put him in that position however involuntary Zeigler may be in accepting the law.

While Ferrero's office and the federal prosecutor exonerated Zeigler of any involvement in the Frustaci theft of what is believed to be $2.96 from the county treasurer, the public and many county officials appear to believe that Zeigler failed to have management and administrative measures in place to prevent Frustaci from doing what he did.

Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code 321.38)  holds:

321.37 Suit on bond of county treasurer.

If the county treasurer fails to make a settlement or to pay over money as prescribed by law, the county auditor or board of county commissioners shall cause suit to be instituted against such treasurer and his surety or sureties for the amount due, with ten per cent penalty on such amount, which suit shall have precedence over all other civil business.
Effective Date: 07-01-1985
So now Zeigler wants Stark County taxpayers to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars in using county legal counsel so he can avoid "personal" liability?

It would be truly shocking if Ferrero were to bite on that one.   The Report thinks the chances of that happening is right there in the league with the chance of a snowball in hell. 

There is probably a better chance that local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley will convince Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio to prosecute Zeigler for dereliction of duty than Ferrero going after the State of Ohio Auditor.

At Wednesday's commissioner meeting, a Reverend C. David Morgan appeared to make a presentation at the commissioners' Public Speaks segment of the meeting agenda.

His topic?

Citizen trust in government!

Interesting enough he did mention the Zeigler removal from office situation and the frustration that commissioners must feel that they followed a statute to remove him only to have the Ohio Supreme Court invalidate the law.

For the SCPR and The Report believes for large numbers of Stark citizens, the most egregious thing about Zeigler is his "sticking his head in the sand" in terms of denying any responsibility whatsoever for not ensuring that adequate policies, procedures, structures of operations were in place from when he took office in 1999 through the April 1, 2009 Frustaci revelation.

According to Zeigler, he has been a flawless manager and administrator and protector of the public trust.  "I have done nothing wrong," he says about his management of the county treasury.

But many differ with him.  The State of Ohio Auditor recommended changes that were not made.  Successor treasurers Allbritain, Koher and Zumbar made many changes to the measures Zeigler had in place.  Moreover,  most of the Stark County public is not buying the Zeigler line either.

The SCPR believes that Zeigler's pugnacious, arrogant refusal to accept any responsibility for not having adequate safeguards in place has done much to undermine public trust in Stark County government.

Other county officials do not deserve to be tainted by the Zeigler's obstinance but it appears they are.  A casualty of the air of distrust that permeates the public view of county government likely will be the proposed 1/2 sales tax increase that will be on the November ballot.

Because of the situation in the treasurer's officers, Commissioners Bernabei, Creighton and Ferguson have had to be out in Stark County in a series of meetings trying to restore trust.  Many county officials joined them including Alex Zumbar who was elected treasurer in November, 2010 only to be removed by the Ohio Supreme Court on June 23rd.

With Zeigler on the sidelines, it appeared they were making progress.

But with him being back, it seems that any ground gained is now lost.  His abiding intransigence is not something that Stark Countians are going to accept and they appear prepared to punish all of Stark County government in order to make a point to the county treasurer.

While it was fine for Morgan to address the commissioners, it probably would have been more appropriate for him to have stopped just short of making a left turn into the Stark County office complex.

Rather he should have made a right turn into the offices of Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler and made his speech to him.

He could have asked Treasurer Zeigler to tell him where the "pea of officeholder responsibility" is located in terms of owning up to improvements in policies, procedures and structures of operation that he should have had in place so as to measurably enhance the likelihood that Vince Frustaci could not have done what he in fact did.

Here is the video of C. David Morgan.

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