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Government


Stark County now has two treasurers
Ohio Supreme Court orders reinstatement of Gary Zeigler, saying commissioners used the wrong law to remove him
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

Stark County’s former treasurer is getting his job back.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled 5-2 today (Thursday) that it was unconstitutional for the Stark County commissioners to remove Gary Zeigler from office. The justices ordered that he be allowed to fill out his four-year elected term, which won’t expire for more than a year.

The commissioners forced Zeigler out last summer after his chief deputy stole millions of dollars. They did so under a state law that says they can remove a treasurer as soon as they file a lawsuit. The commissioners had sued Zeigler to try to recover the money his deputy stole.

But the state high court says that law is unconstitutional “on its face” because the state constitution requires certain procedures for a hearing before an elected official is removed.  And though the commissioners set up a hearing, it didn’t meet constitutional standards.

The big question now is how Stark County deals with two elected treasurers. When Zeigler was removed, two interim treasurers were appointed, and then Alex Zumbar was elected in November to fill his unexpired term.

Lawyer Matt Nakon says Gary Zeigler is ready to go back to work

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Current Treasurer Alex Zumbar says he will review his options

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