BOE meeting canceledWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekend’s special board meeting at the Board of Elections to certify the officer rosters of the two GOP factions was cancelled Christmas Eve.
The meeting was scheduled to take place Dec. 26, but was cancelled due to points brought forth by a letter from Republican Party chairman Jon Stainbrook’s attorney on Dec. 24.
The letter from Anthony DeGidio stated under the Ohio Revised Code 3517.05 the secretary must file the officer list. The letter also claimed the BOE had no legal authority to vote on the list because it was not part of a recognized “organizational meeting and that the documents filed by Jeff Simpson and Paul Hoag filed documents based on non-existent precincts.
Patrick Kriner, board president, said the board’s main concern was with a point dealing with the Ohio Revised Code requiring the party secretaries to file the officer certification.
The board members consulted with John Borell, a lawyer for the Board of Elections, and decided to cancel the meeting because of the signature issue. Borell recommended that the BOE speak with the Secretary of States Office before they proceeded further.
Simpson, who one group wants to replace Stainbrook as party chairman, and Hoag, their choice as central committee chairman, filled out the paperwork and signed their names in place of the secretaries. No secretaries were elected prior to the end of the central committee meeting so Hoag and Simpson signed the documents as chairmen, Hoag said.
The Lucas County Board of Elections waited until Dec. 28 to contact the Secretary of State’s Office for advice, said Linda Howe, director of the Lucas County BOE.
The Secretary of State’s Office told the board that unfortunately there has never been an instance like this and that the Lucas County Board of Elections needs to consult with their attorney on ways to proceed, Howe said.
Borell is currently on vacation, but has been in some contact, Howe said. The board will continue to consult with its attorney and decided to vote or not vote on the GOP officers certification at their regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 12.
The letter from DeGidio also calls for board members Kriner and Lynn Olman to abstain from any vote due to a conflict of interest. Both Kriner and Olman are members of the Lucas County GOP.
“Lynn and I do not believe we have a conflict of interest. The fact that they are claiming this did not influence our reasoning for canceling the meeting at all,” Kriner said.
At the meeting on Dec. 26 the board would have certified the rosters and then forwarded the lists to the state Republican central committee, who would then decide which committee to recognize. Under Ohio law, if there are two rival committees, both rosters must be forwarded to the state GOP and the state central committee must meet with in 30 days to resolve the conflict.
Kriner said after speaking with the Secretary of State’s Office the next steps will be decided. If the board does vote on the rosters it will most likely take place at the regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 12, he said.