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Published: Wednesday, 3/5/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago


New leadership fires Republican, draws scrutiny

GOP’s Stainbrook claiming abuse of power after change

Stainbrook Stainbrook

One day after the director of the Lucas County Board of Elections was ousted, the new leadership was challenged by a board member for a command decision to fire a Republican employee.

Meghan Gallagher was removed by a 3-1 vote on Tuesday as director of the bipartisan county elections office. She was replaced by her administrative assistant, Gina Kaczala, during the board of election’s reorganization meeting in Government Center.

Dan DeAngelis, a Democrat, was retained as deputy director.

An hour later, Republican Booth Official Melissa Brogan said she was fired by the new director and the deputy director.

Jon Stainbrook, a Republican board member who often clashed with other board members on staff appointments and policies — and who was the lone no vote in the appointments of both the director and deputy director — said neither Ms. Kaczala nor Mr. DeAngelis had authority to fire Ms. Brogan without board approval.

“The only reason they did it is because they don’t like it, and they don’t like her,” Mr. Stainbrook said. “She did an exemplary job for more than two years and was an intricate part of the election process. They are abusing their new-found authority right off the bat.”

Mr. Stainbrook sought an opinion from Kevin Pituch, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor.

According to a response transmitted via email, Mr. Pituch said the board “has the authority to appoint and remove employees, temporary or otherwise. There is no statutory provision expressly granting this power to the director or deputy director.”

But Mr. Pituch also stated the elections board “arguably has the authority to delegate the hiring or firing of board employees to the director and/​or deputy director.”

Mr. DeAngelis said they had authority to fire a temporary employee. He said that has been a longtime practice.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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