Monday, November 4, 2013


UPDATE:  3:27 PM

The SCPR's source tells me that the Ohio Elections Commission did find Hillary Mueller and Robert "Jamie" McCleaster to have violated Ohio election law as complained of by North Canton Councilman Jon Snyder (Ward 4) and Marcia Kiesling (at-large) with respect to "the pay raise issue."

However, this preliminary (unofficial) report is to the effect that neither Mueller nor McCleaster were fined nor is the Commission reported to have referred the complaints for prosecution.

UPDATE:  1:37 PM

The Report has learned that there is a "hitch" in proceeding with the hearings on the Snyder (Mueller) and Kiesling (McCleaster) complaints before the Ohio Election Commission.

The SCPR is being told by a third party source (i.e. NOT Snyder, Kiesling, Mueller or McCleaster) now confirmed by a second third party source that a question has arisen (at the suggestion of Jon Snyder) as to whether or not legal counsel retained by Mueller and McCleaster to represent them in their respective hearings (former Canton safety director, services director and chief-of-staff Warren Price) has a "conflict-in-interest" and therefore should not be permitted to represent Mueller and McCleaster in the proceedings before the Commission.

The Report is being told that North Canton offered Price the job of being its Water Treatment Plant director some weeks ago and that city officials are under the impression that Price is set to take the job.

The Report is further being told that Price is saying that he rejected the job two weeks ago and therefore is taking the position that there is no conflict.

Price works at the law firm of Allen Schulman & Associates and The Report is told that he is happy with his current employment status and has no intention of going anywhere.

The Report's understanding is the question of conflict-in-interest or not is to be decided by the entire panel of the Ohio Election Commission.

Should there be a finding of a conflict, it appears that the hearings may be put off until another day.

Of course, election day is tomorrow.

One of The Report's sources is saying that Snyder and Kiesling are not represented by legal counsel.

UPDATE:  1:12 PM

Hearings have been delayed from this morning until at least this afternoon.

The Report is further being told that Tim Fox (North Canton's law director) is saying that his presence is that of merely being an observer and that he is at the hearing on his own time.


The Stark County Political Report has just been informed that Jon Snyder (Ward 4 and council president) and Marcia Kiesling have appeared at the Ohio Elections Commission this morning for hearings on their complaints against opponents Hillary Mueller (Snyder's Ward 4 opponent) and Robert "Jamie" McCleaster (one of Kiesling's at-large opponents)

Snyder and Kiesling have alleged election law violations and last Thursday the Commission found "probable cause" to inquire further into both Snyder's and Kiesling's allegation that Mueller and McCleaster knowingly (or, alternatively, in "reckless disregard of the truthfulness)  made false statements that they had given themselves raises during their current term as council members.

It is a violation of Ohio and North Canton Charter law for such to happen.

The raises voted by council in July of this year do not begin until the "newly elected" council takes office on December 1, 2013.

However, both Mueller and McCleaster deny that such (current council members voting themselves an in-term pay raise) was the import of the complaint-targeted campaign literature statements.

Curiously, the SCPR has been told that North Canton Law Director Tim Fox is appears to be with Snyder and Kiesling.  However, The Report's source did not specifically know at the time of the contact exactly what Fox's role would be.

Here is a LINK to a prior SCPR blog on the controversy.

As reports come in from Columbus, the SCPR will, of course, pass them on to SCPR blog readers.

Check back for updates as they come into the SCPR.

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