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Lucas County Board of Elections chief to quit post, cites health

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Daniel Pilrose, Jr., submitted his resignation yesterday as director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, setting up a possible fight between the newly elected Republican Party chairman, Jon Stainbrook, and the Republican appointees on the board.

Mr. Pilrose, 59, said he resigned at his doctor's advice, effective June 30, citing health reasons.

As a Democrat, Mr. Pilrose's position on the partisan county agency most likely would be filled by a candidate recommended by the chairman of the county Democratic Party, Ron Rothenbuhler.

However, the board's deputy director is Republican Jill Kelly, who could be in line for promotion back to the position she held until March, when Mr. Pilrose took over.

Mr. Stainbrook and Ms. Kelly crossed swords often during his campaign for party chairman and his effort to elect a slate of candidates to the Republican Party central committee that would support him.

He accused Ms. Kelly of bias in favor of the party's incumbent chairman, Bob Reichert.

Ms. Kelly, who could not be reached yesterday for comment, has insisted she was impartial in her work at the elections board.

Yesterday, Mr. Stainbrook said he has no confidence in the two Republican members of the four-person board, Lynn Olman and Patrick Kriner, who also were viewed as allied with Mr. Reichert.

"I don't think that Pat Kriner or Lynn Olman have the best interests of the Lucas County Republican Party or the voters of Lucas County at heart. Any suggestion they make regarding Jill

Kelly does not have the support of the Lucas County Republican Party chairman or its newest members," Mr. Stainbrook said.

Neither Mr. Kriner nor Mr. Olman could be reached yesterday for comment.

Mr. Rothenbuhler said he knew about the upcoming resignation, but held off recommending a replacement until he sees what the Republicans are going to do under Mr. Stainbrook.

"There may be changes at the board of elections. I'd like to know all the players before you offer somebody a job," Mr. Rothenbuhler said.

Mr. Pilrose became deputy director of the elections board in June, 2006. He and Ms. Kelly, the former director, switched positions on March 6. Mr. Pilrose is paid $83,916. Ms. Kelly is paid $82,229.

The leadership switch was made two days after the presidential primary election, which was marked by Lucas County being the last county in the state to report vote totals.

In addition, 921 absentee ballots from that election were not counted because the voters had not properly inserted the ballot inside a special "identification document" envelope.

Earlier this month, the board agreed to drop the postal instruction "Please Do Not Bend" from the envelope in case it was confusing to voters.

Mr. Pilrose worked 31 years for Lucas County and the city of Toledo, including 20 years as a city prosecutor.

He said he has not decided whether to open a private legal practice or take any other employment.

"I'm going to take a little time off," Mr. Pilrose said.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.

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