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Government and Politics

Ohio Supreme Court decision forces Stark County to change sheriffs again
Ruling goes against George Maier, who has been in office nine months

Tim Rudell
Stark County Sheriff's Department and County Jail complex
Courtesy of Stark County Sheriff's Department
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Retired Stark County Sheriff Timothy Swanson is back in office, at least for a while, by order Wednesday of the Ohio Supreme Court.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.

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After 14 years, then-incumbent Stark County Sheriff, Timothy Swanson decided not to run for another term last fall. Fellow Democrat Michael McDonald did run, and won.  But a terminal illness kept him from taking office. So Swanson was sworn as an interim basis while the county’s Democrats searched for a replacement. 

Controversial choice
They picked former Ohio Highway patrolman and Ohio Department of Safety official George Maier. George MaierBut Swanson and others said he fell short of the education and experience legally required to be sheriff, and sued. The Ohio Supreme Court agrees and ordered Maier out, Swanson back in temporarily, and that a new permanent appointment be made. 

What’s next?
Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero is the county’s legal counsel and says the county Democratic Central Committee must now pick a new appointee to replace McDonald. They must do so in not less than five days, but not more than 45. 

In the running
Prosecutor Ferrero also says as he understands it, the leading candidates are likely to include the two men not chosen when the committee picked Maier. They are Stark County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Louis Darrow, and Hartville Police Chief Larry Dordea. Dordea is a Republican who ran against the now deceased Louis McDonald in last year’s election.   

Related WKSU Stories

Stark County Democrats are set to appoint a new sheriff
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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