Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Reinstated Stark County Treasurer Gary D. Zeigler probably cannot believe that Canton Law Director Joe Martuccio is considering the possibility of bringing criminal charges (2nd degree misdemeanor) against him for dereliction of duties in his management of the Stark treasury before he was illegally (according to the Ohio Supreme Court) removed from office on August 23, 2010 by the then commissioners Bosley, Ferguson and Meeks because they did not accord Zeigler his due process of law rights as required by Article II, Section 38 of the Ohio Constitution.

After all, county and federal prosecutors made findings that Zeigler was not involved in the theft of what some believe to have been as much as $2.96 million of taxpayer money by his - up until April 1, 2009 -  Chief Deputy Vince Frustaci.

But Martuccio is.

No, Canton's law director is not retreading the ground already covered by the county and federal prosecutors.  His consideration is solely on Zeigler's steadfast and consistent contention that he did nothing wrong in terms of the controls, structures and management style he had in place before his ouster.

Last Thursday local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley fired off a letter to Martuccio outlining why he thought the law director should proceed with charges against Zeigler, to wit:

It appears to the SCPR that Conley is outraged by Zeigler's persistent denials that he failed to take appropriate management and administrative actions to prevent a theft like Frustaci's from happening.  Moreover, it seems that he will not rest until there is some sort of finding by a court of law that Zeigler failed Stark County taxpayers.

This is the same Craig Conley who took great offense at the Stark commissioners (Bosley, Harmon and Vignos circa December, 2008) imposing a 1/2 sales tax on Stark Countians and who was instrumental in forming a "Vote No Increased Taxes Committee" that caused the issue to be placed on the November, 2009 ballot.  Voters overwhelmingly repealed the tax.

This is the same Craig Conley who took great offense at Sheriff Tim Swanson dissing of the Stark County public ("poop on the public") in speaking in support of the imposed tax and took him to task in the media.  

This is the same Craig Conley who initiated litigation (since taken over by Stark County prosecutors) to recover the missing monies from Frustaci and Zeigler in a civil action which is in progress in Stark County Common Pleas Court (visiting Judge Inderlied). 

So Conley isn't somebody one would want to be a target of.  It could be that Zeigler has met his match in Conley.  

As a sidenote, here is a copy of a check representing Frustaci's pension fund from the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio sent recently to Stark County commissioners.

The SCPR caught up with Martuccio at last night's Canton City Council meeting and videotaped his response to the Conley letter in terms of the actions he is taking.  He says that his consideration could take weeks if not months to come to a determination.

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