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Published: Wednesday, 10/28/2009

Special prosecutor receives GOP case

The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office has turned over to a special prosecutor the investigation of a forgery complaint involving documents submitted by the Lucas County Republican Party to the county Board of Elections.

John Weglian, chief of the special units division for the prosecutor's office, confirmed yesterday that the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office was asked to look into the matter. He said the investigation completed locally to date would be forwarded to that office, which would then decide what charges, if any, were appropriate.

The forgery allegation was made in a letter to the elections board and the Ohio secretary of state by Michael Miller, editor-in-chief of the Toledo Free Press. Mr. Miller claimed the signature of James Damas, treasurer of the county GOP, appeared to have been made by different people.

Mr. Weglian said the decision to request a special prosecutor was made to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest, because the board of elections is a client of the prosecutor's office and because the allegations involved the Republican Party and Prosecutor Julia Bates is a Democrat.

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