Tuesday, September 3, 2013


It was on Friday, February 8, 2013 when Canton mayor William J. Healy, II "pulled a fast one" with the Stark Council of Governments (SCOG).

He moved, the SCPR thinks, through his-then safety director Thomas Ream to change the bylaws of SCOG with respect to the structure and operation of the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab (CSCCL - Crime Lab - Lab) so that non-scientist Rick Perez (a former Stark County chief deputy), an apparent political pal of both Healy and Ream, could be appointed as director of the Lab.

But as soon as the word got out,  Perez (acting on Healy's request) on  February 11, 2013 resigned his mere 72 hour stint as CSCCL director.

SCOG reaction to the Healy administration was swift to and to the point

On February 12th, SCOG met with Healy in the context of an "open-to-the-public" meeting.

Mayor Healy was brought front and center to answer the questions of SCOG members about the Perez move.

At the meeting, Hizzhonor "backtracked - faster than light travels."  According to him, it was Safety Director Ream's doing.

In this SCPR LINKED blog, yours truly shared a number of videos which serves as a movie kaleidoscope of the fast moving events at that meeting.

Healy appeared to be contrite. 

But knowing the mayor as yours truly does, The Report's position is that it wasn't a matter of contriteness. 

For one of the few times in his tenure as mayor, Healy was backpedaling lickety-split in a completely "defensive" mode while leaving his safety director (Tom Ream) - foursquare - under the bus.

For those SCPR readers who want a refresher on the February 12 SCOG meeting, they should go back to the SCPR blog of the 13th and take in all of the videos as listed above.

For those who just want to see Healy's part in the proceedings, here is a republication of the video on his time before the SCOG committee.

It took a while (nearly seven months) for SCOG to react with more than transitory fixes; but, today is Mayor Healy's true date of reckoning, so thinks The Report. 

In high irony, former Canton service director and chief-of-staff (one of Healy's first hires as mayor back in 2008), Thomas Bernabei (now a Stark County commissioner and chairman of SCOG's executive committee as well as SCOG's general membership) is more or less in charge of bringing-Healy-to-heel.

High irony?


For Healy fired Bernabei in January, 2009 when it became apparent to the  mayor that Bernabei proved to be what a top appointed official of any elected official ought to be:  loyal but not a "yes man."

Many stories emanated from city hall during the Bernabei/Healy days of the former dressing down the latter for his bizarre actions.

As Healy has shown with a number of his appointees (e.g. Tom Nesbitt [a former safety director] and most recent Warren Price [a former service director, chief-of-staff and safety director]); he cannot abide appointees who stand up to him (even "for his own good," and,) more importantly for the good of Canton's residents.

To his credit, Bernabei, as chairman, in the interest of resolving the Healy triggered crisis at the Lab, has allowed  Healy to look like it is his initiative and idea to restructure and reform operations  of the CSCCL. 

But the reality is, the The Report believes, that the rework of the Crime Lab is being dictated by the powers that be within SCOG, including Bernabei himself.

Here is the document which likely will be accepted by the SCOG executive committee and general membership in the meeting which is to be held later today in the chamber of Canton City Council.

Presumably, the mayor will show up.

But do not be surprised if he does not.

A Stark County Political Report "Hats Off" to Chairman Bernabei and the SCOG membership in the most productive manner in which the organization has dealt with Healy.

For it is not about "rubbing it in" with Healy that he precipitated the crisis over the Crime Lab.

It is about what is good for Canton's/Stark County's citizens being effectively served in the context of law enforcement being capably served by the Lab in Stark's various police agencies being able to present "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidence and thereby get Stark's bad guys and bad girls off our streets.

In a weird sort of way Healy's power move revealed very serious problems in the functioning of the CSCCL.

Processing of DNA evidence was generally in the neighborhood of 400 days, more or less.

As a consequence of the revelation of this specific Lab problem, Stark's police agencies are now sending DNA work to Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Richfield.

Of course, it is exactly revelations like the DNA backlog thing that Healy latches onto as cover to extricate himself from his difficulties.

We should all focus on the reality that the CSCCL problems developed under the "unwatchful" eye of the Healy administration.

As the SCPR has written numerous times, Healy in his Houdini-esque escape from seemingly impossible situations, is the envy of cats and their proverbial nine lives.

While he may be chortling about his apparent escape, once again, from another seeming brazen and outrage political act (i.e. the Perez matter), the proposed agreement is not about "catching" Healy or "punishing" him; it is doing the right thing for the citizens of Stark County.

The SCPR is convinced that one of these days, the mayor will do something that will put him beyond redemption. 

While the events of today are likely to amount to something like a penultimate "day of reckoning."

Ultimately, The Report believes, the mayor will do himself in.

The shame of it is that in the meantime, the citizens of Canton bear the brunt of his political mischievousness and chicanery.

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