Friday, October 26, 2012



Mike McDonald called the SCPR minutes ago to respond to some of the allegations made in today's blog.

The bombshell in terms of what he had to say was at the very end of the conversation.

It is further indication of what was at one time early in the campaign a more or less friendly exchange of viewpoints between McDonald and Dordea has gone south.

The bombshell from McDonald?

"I do not beleve [Larry Dordea] is qualified to be the sheriff, I don't think he knows what he is talking about."

Backing up a bit to recount the overall conversation, this is what McDonald had to say:

  • He drives a 1999 vintage vehicle that was driven by Bruce Umblby when he was sheriff and that it is not a confiscated vehicle.
  • He knew nothing of the Canton PD/Hartville PD flap when he interviewed with the Canton Police Patrolmen's Association (CPPA).  He said he did hear that the CPPA did not accord Dordea the courtesy of an interview but that he was given the same treatment by the Alliance police union.
  • He is sick and tired of Dordea making accusations that Stark County Sheriff Department personnel being inefficient and ineffective when he paid (as Alliance police chief) a small core of  Alliance police officers (between 3 and 6 of them) several hundred thousand dollars (collectively) on a budget of about $3 million dollars, with much of the core group pay being for overtime.
  • The Stark County Sheriff Department has only paid $60,000 in overtime this year so far on a budget of $16 million plus.
  • He challenged Dordea to come and prove his allegations that the sheriff is inefficient and ineffective.  That "He is not going to let his guys take a beating by him [Dordea]."
  • He said forthrightly that he indeed did get the pay information from Derrick Loy.
    • NOTE:  The SCPR's recollection of listening to the Ponder tape and The Report's prior conversation with McDonald that he did not clearly and unequivocally assign to Loy as being his source for the information.   Of course, it is possible that yours truly misinterpreted what he said about the matter.
  • That he has been:
    • restrained in not talking about communications that he gets that are negative on Dordea,
    • he is trying to run a clean campaign, 
    • but he gets upset when Dordea says the sheriff's people are inefficient while he has a track record as chief in Alliance of being highly inefficient in paying large amounts of overtime to a few Alliance officers.


The Stark County Political Report is now ready to jettison the notion that the political contest between Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea (also a Republican Alliance city councilman-at-large) and Democrat and Stark County Chief Deputy (Jail Division) Mike McDonald is a Marquess of Queensbury Rules-esque face off.

The degeneration of the Dordea/McDonald square-off, which started out months ago with each candidate emphasizing his qualities to be the next sheriff of Stark County, became apparent to the SCPR with the receipt earlier this week of a copy of a "letter to the editor" penned by Mike McDonald supporter Derrick Loy of Alliance.

The Report picked up on the letter and published it with the candidates weighing-in with their reaction (LINK).

Little did yours truly know that Loy's salvo was the first of a number of "supporter" exchanges on who should be Stark County's next sheriff.

It all began with a telephone call that The Report received yesterday afternoon from a law enforcement type who was reacting to the Loy letter and otherwise in support of Dordea.

Among his points:
  • that the Loy contention that as chief, Dordea paraded around Alliance in a confiscated Mercedes-Benz SUV is not an unusual practice across Stark County's policing agencies.  He provided information to the effect that several Stark County Sheriff Department officials (including candidate McDonald) drive confiscated vehicles.
  • insofar as McDonald's contention that he has the broad-based support of law enforcement across Stark County is simply inaccurate.  He says that the  endorsement of McDonald over Dordea by the Canton Police Patrolman's Association was the result of a jurisdictional dispute between the Hartville Police Department (which, of course, Dordea is chief of) and the Canton Police Department [CPD]) whereby Dordea stepped in and stopped the CPD from providing hired policing services to a Hartville based business that was having problems having its scrap metal stolen.
    • that the fact of the matter is that a number of Canton policemen support Dordea for sheriff as do many individual law enforcement officers across the county.
  • that Mike McDonald is outgoing Sheriff Swanson's third choice.  His first choice was former Perry Township police chief Tim Escola until he encountered legal difficulties in Perry, then Rick Perez until it became apparent that he could not win, and finally he settled on McDonald.
  • that morale at the Stark County sheriff's department is at low ebb conceding that McDonald is the best leadership in the department as it currently exists.
Next, late last night the SCPR received an e-mail from Republican Alliance Councilwoman-at-Large Julie Jakmides, a colleague of Dordea's on council.  Julie is the daughter of well known Stark County criminal defense attorney Jeff Jakmides.

Julie's letter is a positive letter in the sense that she chooses to emphasize Dordea's qualities and not to attack Mike McDonald.

What follows is her letter in total:

Mr. Olson,

I saw that you posted the 'Letter to the Editor' that Mr. Derrick Loy sent so I thought it would be appropriate to share the letter I wrote in support of Chief Dordea's campaign.

Unlike the letter written by Mr. Loy, it is positive, personal, non-confrontational and does not require a fact-check. I will be shocked if any newspaper prints the product of Mr. Loy's wild imagination.

I focused on the reasons why Chief Dordea should be Stark County's next Sheriff and my writing was not prompted or approved by any group or individual.

It seems only fair that if you shared Mr. Loy's letter, mine should also be made public on your blog.

As a young woman who plans to live and work in Stark County long term, I pay close attention to county government and those in administrative positions.

As a college student majoring in criminal justice, I pay special attention to those in charge of the law enforcement, safety and security of my community and all those nearby.

I am writing this letter to The Canton Repository and all my fellow Stark Countians to extend my endorsement of Larry Dordea for the office of Stark County Sheriff –as a woman, a young adult, a life-long member of your community, and an elected official.

I have known Chief Dordea since I was 8 years old and he coached my soccer team.
I am not sure I understand how he found time to be such an involved parent and community member at that time, because he was also busy fighting crime as an officer with the Alliance Police Department.

Thanks in large part to the fierce determination and strong leadership of Chief Dordea, my hometown of Alliance saw a 50% crime reduction during the time he was chief –and I was growing up.

Now that I am older and sit just to the right of Chief Dordea when we work together as at-large members of Alliance City Council, I can see more clearly the ways he inspires positive leadership, demands answers to tough questions and works diligently for our City of Alliance and the greater Stark County community.

I have spent the last 10 months working on his campaign to be the next sheriff, and I am continually more confident that Chief Dordea understands the very serious issues facing our county and has plans to combat them.

At the Stark County Fair, Chief Dordea never backed away from a question –be it funding, drug problems, increased patrols or simply why he wants to be our top cop.

Larry Dordea has the answers, the experience and the ability to run a Stark County Sheriff’s Office that will strike fear into the criminals polluting our community.

Not only that, but he will make us all proud by running a tight ship administratively.

Join me in making Stark County a safer place to live, work and do business on November 6 by voting Larry Dordea for Stark County Sheriff."

Thank you for your consideration,

Julie Jakmides

Councilwoman, City of Alliance
Vice President, Alliance Area Republican Club
Vice President, Mount Union Pre-Law Society
University of Mount Union - Class of 2014

Another issue that has surfaced in the Dordea/McDonald race is McDonald's assertion on Ron Ponder's Points to Ponder (WHBC1480) and by McDonald in conversation with the SCPR is his connection to Loy and his assertion that he (McDonald) obtained records from the Alliance City Auditor as to an allegation by McDonald that Dordea paid excessive overtime to certain Alliance Police Department officials during Dordea's last four years as police chief.

On this issue, the SCPR received an e-mail (also late last night), from Alliance City Auditor Kevin Knowles, to wit:
Dear Martin; 
I've read numerous articles on your blog site over the years, but I have never felt it necessary to comment on the content. 
My experience in reading your site has lead me to believe that you have been willing to go as you stated, "a step or two or three further than your typical newspaper in covering material such as Loy's letter". 
With that in mind, after reading today's edition"SHERIFF'S RACE (DORDEA VERSUS McDONALD) GOING NEGATIVE?", I felt compelled to supply you with some additional information in the spirit of "Just the Facts". Specifically in relation to the section from your blog that I've highlighted below: 
"As already indicated, Mike McDonald denies having a hand in Loy writing his letter. And the SCPR takes him at his word.
But on his own, McDonald has gone out and developed documented evidence (from the auditor's office) which he says shows that Dordea excessively used overtime in paying some of his lieutenants and detectives during his last four years as Alliance police chief". 
I can assure you that as the Alliance City Auditor, Mr. McDonald has not contacted myself or any of my staff to obtain public records relating to Alliance police payroll records. 
However, in August of 2012, Mr. Loy made the exact request which is referenced in your blog pertaining to wages of Alliance Police Detectives, and officers of APD Lieutenant rank or higher. I've provided an attached copy for your reference. 
The question you may be asking yourself at this point; How did Mr. McDonald obtain police payroll records from the Alliance City Auditor's Office since he has never requested them from my office? And just to round out more facts, the bi-partisan Ordinance addressing elected official's salary adopted in Alliance, extended well beyond any one elected official and included; City Council, Judge, Mayor, etc., as well as City Auditor.

Feel free to contact me should you wish any additional information.


Kevin G. Knowles
Alliance City Auditor

And here is a copy of Loy's public records request.

So do you need any more convincing that what started out as a "political love-in" in the sense of each candidate emphasizing his qualifications and plans for the sheriff's office going forward is now "officially - a 'battle royale?'"

The SCPR thanks Loy, Jakmides, Knowles and the "anonymous law enforcement officer" (who fears retribution if he is identifed) for contributing to the SCPR discussion as to who Stark Countians should be selecting as Stark's next sheriff.

The Report does go more in depth and provides more enduring and consistent coverage of the important questions on Stark County government and politics than any other Stark County media outlet.

The SCPR will continue to provide the in depth, enduring and consistent coverage that The Repository so utterly lacks.

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