Tuesday, December 17, 2013




After thinking about it again, the SCPR thinks that there is a case for "a changed mind" about whether or not the George Maier ought to be begging Swanson not to file a new quo warranto.

A few days ago, The Report wrote:
So The Report thinks that the establishment [Gonzalez et al] leadership should have been more conciliatory on Wednesday to Darrow's supporters and, even now, should be rushing to conciliate with Swanson before he goes off on another quo warranto mission.
But on second thought, perhaps not.

It would, of course, be politically devastating to Maier to lose again in the Ohio Supreme Court.

And, depending on the timing of a negative on qualification outcome, could make it impossible to be deemed qualified even in a primary election scenario.

If he doesn't get in front of the court again at interim Sheriff Swanson's initiative, his next trip to the court might have to be at his own initiative.

And it could be an effort that comes too late for him to be certified as a qualified primary election candidate or, alternatively, one in which the general election comes and goes without the court having made a decision.

How's that?

If Swanson does not challenge Maier via a "by what authority he holds office" a second time, Maier's next qualification test will be at the hand of the Stark County Board of Elections (Board/BOE) as part of Ohio's "election of a sheriff qualification process," for the primary election set for May 6, 2014, to wit:

311.01 Election and qualifications of sheriff

(F)(2) Each board of elections shall certify whether or not a candidate for the office of sheriff who has filed a declaration of candidacy, a statement of candidacy, or a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate meets the qualifications specified in divisions (B) and (C) of this section.  (emphasis added)

The Stark County Board of Elections "ain't" the Gonzalez/Johnnie A. Maier, Jr controlled Stark County Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee.

And, without a favorable to George T. Maier ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court on his qualification before they rule, it is not hard to see the two Republican members of the Board voting "not to certify him" thereby making him ineligible to gain the Democratic Party nomination.

Okay. Let's see. There are two Democrat BOE members who, undoubtedly, will vote that he is certifiable as qualified and the two Republicans, who, likely, are to vote that he is not certifiable.


Two to two, the candidate wins the tie!

Not so quick.

There is a tie breaker vote provided for in Ohio's statutes.


Who is the tie breaker?

The Ohio secretary of state who is REPUBLICAN Jon Husted.


Might be a problem for George, no?

So maybe, just maybe, George would be better off getting the matter resolved sooner than later with one more effort to convince the Supreme Court that he is qualified.  Courtesy of guess whom?

You've got it.

Interim Sheriff Tim Swanson!

And indications are that Maier may be accommodated by Swanson.

Friday is the "drop-dead" date on whether or not a second Swanson challenge is in the offing, the SCPR is told.

On December 10th,  the Maier legal team has filed a motion with the Ohio Supreme Court for it to dismiss Swanson's Writ of Mandamus filed on November 18th and under which the court refused (on December 10th) to order the removal of George Maier's name from consideration at the Stark County Democratic Party's central committee (SCDP-CC) selection meeting last Wednesday.

Maier went on to win his second appointment by a 101 to 65 vote over Lou Darrow.

Last Friday Tim Swanson sent a letter to Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero, to wit:
"I am again requesting that your office take whatever steps are necessary to begin legal action to determine if George Maier is qualified to assume the position of Stark County Sheriff." (emphasis added)

As emphasized by the green highlighting, Swanson added that should Prosecutor Ferrero find that Maier is unqualified then he wants a determination of "whether any improper expenditure of funds has taken place."

A well placed source tells The Report that it would reasonable to infer from his sending of the letter, that Swanson will file a second quo warranto to remove George T. Maier from office if Ferrero or a specially appointed prosecutor (Ferrero has maintained that he has a conflict in interest) fails to file.

Ferrero, in February, did not seek to have a special prosecutor appointed.

He sort of did when Craig T. Conley (on behalf of Stark County taxpayer Thomas Marcelli) demanded that he do so in order to recover to the public county treasury monies received (salary and benefits) and spent (on rebranding the office his name) during the time Maier was in office as a usurper as determined by the Ohio Supreme Court on November 6th.

However, the Stark County commissioners seems to the SCPR to be solidly behind Maier and waived aside Ferrero's suggestion that they and he might jointly accede to Conley's demand.

Consequently, Conley in late November filed Marcelli's civil suit against Maier.

One of Stark's commissioners is Republican Janet Creighton.  She "makes no bones about it," she is committed to supporting Republican candidates across Stark County who run for elective office.

There is no doubt with the SCPR that the person for the Republicans to run against Maier in 2014 is former Alliance police chief and current Hartville police chief Larry Dordea.

Dordea, in the judgment of The Report, is the only Republican law enforcement officer up to taking on Maier.

He ran against Tim Swanson (2008) and Mike McDonald (2012) and was very competitive in doing so in a county which tilts Democratic in countywide elections except if the Democratic candidate has political roots in the city of Canton.

But for some reason, Dordea does not seem to garner the enthusiasm of folks like Creighton and Stark County GOP chairman Jeff Matthews.

The SCPR had a discussion with Commissioner Creighton on the topic of a third Dordea candidacy about a week ago and she did indicate that if it came down to Dordea v. Maier, she would be supporting Dordea.

However, she inter-spliced into the conversation a comment that "there are other Republicans interested in contesting Dordea for the GOP nomination in May, 2014."

All of which leads The Report to believe that Dordea may only get "official" support from the likes of Creighton.  Hardly, a basis for rosy prospects for Dordea to defeat Maier if Maier makes it to the 2014 general election.

Could it be that if Swanson declines to challenge Maier a second time that one or, perhaps, both Republicans (William Cline and Curt Braden [a former chairman] on the BOE would join the Democrats to certify Maier as being qualified when even in the light of the November 6th Ohio Supreme Court decision to the contrary?


But wouldn't Maier have a more certain shot at being deemed qualified in stating his case anew in a second Swanson Supreme Court challenge?

After all, the original decision was 5 to 2 in favor of Swanson.   Maier is only two votes away from having a smoother path to being elected as Mike McDonald's successor.

Readers will recall, of course, that the whole reason for this jockeying as to who will be Stark County's next sheriff is due to the fact that Mike McDonald, elected in November, 2012, could not take office on January 7, 2013 (as scheduled) due to an illness which turned out to be terminal (February 22nd).

Of course, there are two sides to that coin whereby Swanson files a second quo warranto and that is if it turns up  Maier "not-qualified" a second time.

Does anybody doubt George Maier would be finished as a candidate?

Even if the decision comes before the primary election, it is hard to see how even "unenthusiastic" (presuming Cline and Braden share what the SCPR thinks is Creighton misgivings about Dordea) Republicans can ignore two Ohio Supreme Court determinations that Maier is unqualified and vote (one or both) to certify him.

Certainly,with John Kasich running for reelection in 2014, one would think that Ohio Secretary of State would not want to aid the Democratic Party cause in Stark County in helping Maier to qualify him for office.

All of which would leave George T. Maier in the unenviable position of putting himself before the high court for a third time on the qualification issue in context of another Democrat (presumably Lou Darrow) being the party nominee.

So it seems to the SCPR - on rethinking the matter - that rather than discourage Tim Swanson from filing a second quo warranto, perhaps, the Maier supporters ought to be encouraging him?

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