News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government


Stark's former sheriff is the current sheriff in Democratic do-over
Stark County Democrats reappoint George Maier following a battle that included an Ohio Supreme Court decision
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
Long-time Stark Sheriff Tim Swanson (left) and newly re-appointed Sheriff George Maier talk after the Democratic Party Central Committee vote
Courtesy of TPR
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

George Maier is back as Stark County sheriff. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on the unusual case of the once-and-future -- then not and now again--maybe, top cop of northeast Ohio’s third largest county.

LISTEN: Sheriff reappointed

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:02)


The roll was called as Stark County’s Democratic Party Central Committee gathered in a church hall in northwest Canton to decide who should be Sheriff. Central Committee gathers And, after a sometimes contentious hour and half the committee voted 101-to-65 for a man they had actually put in the office nearly a year ago, only to see him removed last month by the Ohio Supreme Court. George MaierHe is former state highway patrolman and Massillon Safety Director George Maier.
"I received numerous notes, messages, and emails, from people I don’t even know, commending me for a job well done; encouraging me to take on the fight to get back here. It hasn’t been easy. It really hasn’t been easy. But I’m very proud to take on the reins again, and to work with the staff of the Sheriff’s Department to keep Stark County Safe.”

Strange case
The fight Maier is talking about came after an unusual chain of events. Last year, long-time Sheriff Tim Swanson didn’t seek reelection. One of his senior deputies, Mike McDonald, like him a Democrat, defeated Republican Larry Dordea for the office in November of 2012. But McDonald was stricken with a terminal illness and couldn’t take office.

Swanson stayed on while County Democrats picked McDonald’s replacement — their responsibility under Ohio election law.  But, their pick — made in February — was Maier.

Differing view
Swanson, County Prosecutor John Ferrero and others in the party wanted another of Swanson’s lieutenants, Louis Darrow.Sheriff Tim Swanson and Prosecutor John Ferrero And, in Swanson’s view, Maier didn’t meet one of the qualifications to be a a sheriff in Ohio because, although he had been working in law enforcement in management and oversight, he had not been -- as state law requires — in a full-time peace officer role within two years of his appointment.

“I got no beef with George; and I think he would do a good job," said Swansoh. "I just…dog gone it. …There’s rules, and law, and we’ve gotta follow it -- especially in this office.”

Legalities
The Swanson faction sued, and after nine months in the courts, the Ohio Supreme Court said last month that Maier was out and the party had to pick again. 

But, local Democratic Party Chairman Randy Gonzales and others who backed Maier originally put his name up for appointment again, noting that after his ouster he hired-on as a deputy sheriff in Harrison County. In their view, he now meets the requirements.  For Gonzales, that and Maier’s performance while office for most of the year are what won him re-appointment; and by a wider margin of votes than when he was picked the first time in February.

“This last nine months showed what a great job he’s going to do as sheriff. I think the public respected that. I think this committee respected that. And they sent the message today that they’d like to have George continue as their sheriff.”

No decision yet
Asked if he would challenge Maier’s qualifications again in court, Swanson said he hasn’t decided and would talk with legal experts in coming days. 

He and Maier also spoke at length as the committee meeting was ending.After they parted with a handshake, Maier characterized what Swanson had to say: “He wished me well. And he said if there were any more filings, he hoped they would go my way.”

Maier is expected to be commissioned — again -- by the Ohio Secretary of State and back on the job before the weekend.  


Related WKSU Stories

Lawyers in Columbus would represent Stark sheriff
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Churches come together to welcome and include Gay Games athletes
Nicely done!!! A little known fact about the El Salvadoran and Columbian scholarships.. A big thank you to the Faith Community for their support of Gay Games 9....

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University