Tuesday, November 19, 2013



 UPDATED AT 12:00 P.M.

Yesterday, Sheriff Tim Swanson joined with his top lieutenant and a leading candidate to become Stark County sheriff in filing a Writ of Mandamus with the Ohio Supreme Court.

The writ was filed to gain enforcement of the high court's original order in Swanson v. Maier wherein Maier was ousted by the supreme justices in a 5 to 2 vote effective November 6, 2013. (Click on graphic to enlarge)

The SCPR's take on the key issue of the new case is whether or not the Supreme Court confirms/disaffirms the qualification date referred to in the Ohio Revised Code section of statutory law as being either February 6, 2013 or December 5, 2013.  (Click on graphic to enlarge)

Therein, the SCPR believes, lies the answer as to whether George T. Maier might once again take up habitation at 4500 Atlantic Boulevard or, alternatively, Lt. Lou Darrow.

If the justices reaffirm February 6, 2013 as the date they settled on in Swanson v. Maier as being the date that applies to the court's order that the Stark County Democratic Party redo its selection of Mike McDonald's successor, then George Maier will not be returning to the sheriff's diggs.

For there is no way he can redeem himself from the court's November 6th determination that he was unqualified as of Feburary 5, 2013, the date that the local Dems selected him by a 92 to 84 vote over Darrow.

However, if the court takes the view of legal counsel (Allen Schulman, Steve Okey, Michael Thompson [Gonzalez]) advising Chairman Gonzalez that the qualification period begins anew (within 30 days from the November 6th decision), then Maier has a chance.

But only a chance.

It is likely that Maier would be able to qualify on the basis of his having served (in process now) as a full-time deputy sheriff for longtime friend and sheriff Ronald J. Myers of Harrison County (about an hour driving distance from Maier's home in Massillon) in the county seat of Cadiz, Ohio.

But if the Harrison County stint is Maier's basis for qualifying one has to wonder whether or not that will be challenged in some future legal proceeding.

In the original Swanson v. Maier case the Supreme Court did not consider the same tactic of serving two days in Harrison County as being enough to satisfy the full-time requirement.

It appears to the SCPR that the court was looking for more than just the mere passage of time on the job.  If that is the case, does it make any difference that he will have been on the job about 30 days when the Stark Dems meet once again (December 11th) to make a new appointment?

Could it be that the court was looking at a "good faith" (in the legal sense of the expression) aspect of the time in Harrison?

Good faith?


For example, is George Maier on the job in Harrison with the intent to remain a full-time peace officer for the reasonably foreseeable future?

So, in the view of the SCPR, even if the Ohio Supreme Court defines "the qualification date" to be December 5, 2013, it does not necessarily mean George T. Maier's legal problems are over.

A factor such as this prospect may be enough to convince a majority of Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee members to opt for Lou Darrow over Maier.

Precinct committeepersons might also want to reflect on highly credible reports that in a meeting (The Meeting) that occurred in early January in the office of Stark County Commissioner Tom Bernabei which included Bernabei, Sheriff Swanson, Chairman Gonzalez and Maier (via telephone) that the chairman asked Swanson to hire Maier as a full-time Stark County sheriff for a few days because there were concerns that Maier could not qualify under the statutory law of Ohio.

Important to them, The Report thinks, should be that the chairman on February 5th (the first selection date), as the SCPR recalls, did not share the existence of "The Meeting" nor, of course, what The Report thinks is a "political" (for Steve Okey) "smoking gun" indicating that Gonzalez conducted the meeting knowing that the Dems could be making a decision that would not stand up to the scrutiny of the Ohio Supreme Court.

It appears to the SCPR that party leaders favoring Maier were hoping against hope that Tim Swanson would not step up and file the challenge to Maier's qualifications in the Supreme Court.

Also a factor with the precinct committeepersons, in terms of Maier understanding his qualification vulnerability (according to him "a mere technicality;" obviously a "minimizing" tactic), for their consideration in the upcoming scheduled December 11th "second" selection attempt ought to be focusing on Maier's weekend in Cadiz, Ohio in January in which he worked as a full-time deputy sheriff for two days.

He denied in his deposition in Swanson v. Maier that solving his "technical" problem was the reason for him going to Cadiz.

The SCPR thinks that the denial falls in the category of "who is going to believe that?"

How insulting to people of common human experience and understanding, no?

As already discussed, the Supreme Court did not bite on the first Harrison County excursion and the SCPR does not believe that Ohio's "court of last resort" is into making "technical" rulings as Maier would have us believe.

How insulting to the high court, no?

The Supreme Court articulates and requires that we all follow the "Rule of Law" not as "a mere technicality" but as a way for us to have an ordered society.

One has to think that a compelling consideration in the minds of committeepersons is whether or not they want to be a party to possibly dragging this matter out even further than it has gone already, no?

The nine months of uncertainty that the Stark Democratic Party leaders put the county through is something they owe an apology for.

As Commissioner Janet Creighton said of the Swanson v. Maier ruling, Stark County "takes three steps forward, then five steps backward."

And The Report adds, the sheriff uncertainty situation was completely avoidable and should never have happened.

There is nothing keeping Maier from running in the May, 2014 Stark County Democratic primary.  The SCPR encourages him to do so.

Let Stark Countians judge whether or not they want him as our sheriff in view of all that has transpired.

In the view of the SCPR, such would be the responsible thing for Maier to do.

Stark Countians deserve better than what they have gotten from the Stark Dems so far.

It could be that likely Republican candidate in November, 2014 Larry Dordea's prospect of winning gets better and better with each passing day that the Stark Dems' squabble continues.

On reading the Beck brief in his new filing and contrasting his arguments with Gonzalez arguments as contained in a letter from Gonzalez (at the hand of his attorneys) to Beck which is attached to the brief, The Report believes that Beck's position is the more tenable argument.

But we shall see.

As an acquaintance of The Report likes to say:

The Supreme Court does not have to be right, it just has to be the Supreme Court.

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