Sylvania Township trustees say they will file a formal complaints against trustee candidate DeeDee Liedel for making alleged false statements in an e-mail that contends police funds from a levy have run out and that unless contract terms are renegotiated, police layoffs will occur.
Trustee Carol Contrada said the township is taking steps to file complaints with the Ohio Elections Commission and the Toledo Bar Association because the comments by Ms. Liedel, who is a lawyer, have gone beyond campaigning and "are outright falsehoods.''
Township Police Chief Joe Valvano said at a news conference yesterday the police budget is on track of where it should be, and that no layoffs have been mentioned or contemplated.
He noted the police department recently hired four patrol officers to fill vacancies.
Ms. Liedel said that her e-mail was sent to about 125 people who support her candidacy, and the statements were based on information she received from police officers who have been in meetings with management.
The chief said meetings have been held on health insurance for employees and, in those meetings, compromises have been sought to control the costs of health care.
Dennis Boyle, chairman of the trustees and the only incumbent running for re-election this year, said the e-mail was sent to a broad number of people, and he's received calls from residents concerned about the police department.
Ms. Liedel said her information came from Sgt. Robert Colwell, a representative of the command officers association.
Sergeant Colwell said, during a discussion with the township administration, he was told financial problems existed because of the rising cost of health care. He said township representatives asked to reopen the command officers' contract to discuss changes in co-payments and other financial issues.
He said he doesn't recall the use of the word layoff, but said it was implied when officials said that measures would have to be taken to remain within the police department budget.
Ms. Liedel is one of seven candidates vying for two township trustee seats - those of Mr. Boyle and Jim Schwerskoske, who decided not to seek re-election so he could to devote more time to his real estate business. The other candidates in Tuesday's election are R. Jeffrey Lydy, Pam Hanley, Kevin Haddad, John Jennewine, and Dick Moses. Mr. Moses served one term as a trustee but lost a bid for re-election two years ago.
Township trustees serve four-year terms.