Tuesday, September 16, 2014


(the Stark County prosecutor should make the referral!)

Today's blog is something quite different than The Stark County Political Report envisioned at the outset of putting it together.

As readers of The Report know, "no stone is left unturned" in the effort to put together an interesting blog.

However, The Report was totally unprepared for what met the eyes in looking at Stark County sheriff Republican candidate Larry Dordea's Facebook page last evening, to wit:

I have given much thought to this post and I know its going to be long but some things just need to be stated. This is not my first campaign for sheriff and I and the Dordea for Sheriff volunteers have never been disrespected by a political opponent or their volunteers in previous campaigns. There have been many incidents of apparent intimidation, some of which have included the fully uniformed sheriff. My volunteers have been bumped into and crowded by the opposition while handing out campaign materials. While campaigning, they have been directly confronted by the uniformed sheriff who called the member by name and belittled their campaign contributions. I too have had multiple “confrontations” which I did not initiate. To me, these are unprofessional but too petty on their own for me to publicly complain about.

An incident last night, Sunday, September 14, 2014 at about 9:30pm is my real issue of concern. First of all my campaign truck is a 1979 Chevy P-30 which many call “an old bread truck”. It has one seat with a lap seat belt and no air conditioning or radio. I generally drive the truck except during parades when one of my volunteers drives. 

I picked up the truck from a parking lot in Canton and drove it home. It was warm so the sliding driver’s door was locked in the open position as I traveled east on RT 62. The vehicle started making strange noises and I thought it would soon break down so I slowed and watched as many vehicles passed me. As I turned onto Beech St. from State Route 62, my left rear wheel came off of the hub. My truck leaned dramatically to the left as the wheel rolled past me into the middle of Beech St. I regained control of my truck and managed to pull to the side of the road. I exited the truck and quickly recovered my loose tire/wheel from the middle of the road as it was a hazard

The first thing I did was to inspect the tire and wheel and there was very little damage. Next I inspected the hub and the studs and found only minor damage to the hub although (2) two of the (8) eight studs had been sheared off of the hub. The remaining 6 studs showed no thread damage and I was not able to find any of the lug nuts. It is important to note that I had purchased and installed 4 (four) locking lug nuts several years ago and I knew that I had not had any recent work done on the tires or wheels so I knew that no mechanic error would have caused this occurrence. The only logical explanation for this is that someone had removed at least 6 (six) of the lug nuts. I suspect that all 7 (seven) of the standard lug nuts were removed and the only lug nut that remained was the locking lug nut. In any case, my route home was delayed by about an hour while Mel’s Towing responded and raised the truck with its wheel lift and the driver placed the wheel back on my campaign truck. We removed 6 (six) lug nuts, 2 (two) from the remaining wheels and secured the wheel and I drove on to my destination.

So many bad things could have happened here. I generally drive on highways at 55 miles per hour or so and a rolling tire on the highway could have caused a terrible accident. My door is nearly always open when I drive, as it was during this incident, and if the truck would have tipped over I would have had direct immediate contact with the pavement and may not have survived. Whoever did this committed a very serious and dangerous criminal act. I promise to be much more vigilant and I will prosecute anyone found tampering with campaign equipment or attempting to intimidate a campaign worker. This campaign is for the election of the Stark County Sheriff, everyone involved needs to be professional and follow the law. (4 photos)

To the SCPR, it was unmistakable.

What Dordea appears to be implying,  in writing his description of the the series of incidents occurring during his campaign and seemingly coupling them with the Sunday night incident, is that some "over-the-top" Maier campaign zealot may have been the perpetrator of the latter.

When queried, Dordea denied that such was the case.

He said, "I am not suggesting anybody associated with the George T. Maier campaign for sheriff was involved in the Sunday night incident."

To which the SCPR rejoined:  "But that is what some people reading your narrative are going to think, no?"

Dordea:  "I can't control what people might think."

As the SCPR has written many, many times when subjects of this blog deny one thing or another, "it [the denial] may be true (in this case, authentic), but who is going to believe it?"

The SCPR has high regard for Larry Dordea.
However, The Report thinks he is being disingenuous in saying "I am not suggesting anything."

To say it again.  It could be true that he is not. But who is going to believe it?

What the SCPR thinks is rather odd is that Dordea, a long time policeman (chief in Alliance for about nine years, and currently chief in Hartville) decided not file a police report.  But he puts it on Facebook.  Does this make sense?

The Report not only thinks it odd, but goes one step further and labels the decision not to make it a law enforcement investigation matter:  "unacceptable."

As odd as Dordea's decision appears to be; anybody who knows Larry Dordea comes to appreciate person who seems to be man of very high character who is a conciliator and not a power politician.

In that context, perhaps, his decision does make sense.

Nonetheless, Dordea owes it to the Stark County public, the Maier campaign (i.e. the suspicion it may raise in some circles and on the part of some people) and the rule of law that the matter be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and an attempt made to identify the person who Dordea says he is certain perpetuated a criminal act.

To point out the gravity of the situation, the SCPR repeats Dordea's statement:
... if the truck would have tipped over I would have had direct immediate contact with the pavement and may not have survived ...
With all due respect to Dordea's wishes that the Sunday night incident not become a law enforcement matter, the SCPR strongly disagrees.

It is grievous enough that any citizen might have been the subject of such an alleged attack, let alone a person running for public office.

And, not just any office.  But Stark County's top law enforcement position.

For Ohio/federal officialdom to let this matter go uninvestigated whether or not Dordea cooperates, is unacceptable.

The possibility that the matter may be a criminal act against one running for public office is enough to take it out of Dordea's hands.

If an investigates results in the identification of a person who did in fact loosen the lug nuts as Dordea alleges and reveals a politically inspired motivation, such would be an attack on the democratic election processes of our system of government.

Obviously, Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero cannot be part of the investigation given his opposition to George T. Maier becoming the Stark County Democratic Party appointee as sheriff of Stark County.

Nor, obviously, can the sheriff's office or any other Stark County based law enforcement entity be involved in the investigation that The Stark County Political Report is calling for.

But the Ohio attorney general's office/the United States Department of Justice can be and most definitely should be.

Prosecutor Ferrero should make the referral today!!!

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