Thursday, August 18, 2011


Last week local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley sent a letter to Stark County commissioners asking them to consider raising Stark County Treasurer Gary Zeigler's bond from $500,000 to $1 million.

Commissioner Creighton on video (LINK here to prior blog which contains her video) told the SCPR that she would consider Conley's request.

By yesterday, her point of view had evolved to being definitely in favor of supporting Conley's suggestion and even going beyond a $1 million bond.  Without prodding by the SCPR she went on to say:  "I don't want him [Zeigler] to ever come back.  Sounds like Stark County Auditor Alan Harold's statement of several weeks ago where he said on the SCPR VideoCam:  "I just want Zeigler to be gone!"

Here is a video clip of Creighton making her statement yesterday:

The Report then turned to Commissioner Bernabei for a response.   He declined to respond at that time as he said he had not read Conley's letter.

Yesterday, the Stark County Political Report caught up with Commissioner Bernabei after a commissioner work session concluded and he did have a response as promised to The Report on Tuesday.    Here is a video of Bernabei addressing the Conley request.

The Report interprets Bernabei's response to be indicative of the commissioners "putting first things first" and that getting a bond, any bond, to allow Zeigler to become a full fledged treasurer once again.

For those readers who need to know the history of Zeigler's troubles, CLICK HERE to view a prior SCPR blog which goes into the background of how Zeigler got to where he is now, that is to say:  less than a fully functioning county treasurer in search of a bond (via the commissioners) so that he can once again be a fulfledged Stark County treasurer.

Where is Commissioner Pete Ferguson on the issue?

Well, the SCPR tried to ask him at yesterday's regular weekly meeting, but he had to excuse himself after adjourning the meeting (he is the president of the board of commissioners) to attend to a pressing matter.

However, The Report conjectures that he is likely to be in line with Bernabei.  While it appears that he gets along well with Commissioner Creighton, the SCPR's take is that he looks to Bernabei for guidance on controversial issues that come before the commissioners.

The Report has contacted Conley and shared with him Bernabei's response.

Conley's reaction?

Bernabei makes the case all the more as to why the commissioners should go for - at a minimum - his suggested $1 million bond.

The Report asked Chief Administrator Mike Hanke when the local insurance agency (Sirack-Moore) might becoming in to see the commissioners to entertain their questions of where the agency stands in its effort to find an underwriter for the Zeigler bond.  Readers of The Report will recall that an agency representative was scheduled to be in last Tuesday (the 9th), but begged off.

Hanke's response:  Whenever Sirack-Moore has some news to share.  Even at that, he offered that the response might come through assistant Stark County Prosecutor Ross Rhodes.  In either event, yours truly will be right on top of that story when it breaks.

Stay tuned, folks!

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