Matt Damschroder, a deputy assistant secretary of state, starts the hearing for fired Lucas County Board of Elections members and staff today at One Government Center in Toledo.
A due process hearing being held today for four Lucas County Board of Elections members — who are slated to be dismissed — got under way today with a stinging indictment of dereliction of duty charged by a representative of Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Scott Borgemenke, the chairman of Mr. Husted's transparency committee, recited a list of problems including deleted computer records, lack of sick leave policy, and refusal to implement previous recommendations from the Secretary of State.
On Monday, Mr. Husted said he intended to remove from office Republican Director Gina Kaczala, Democratic Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis, as well as board members Tony DeGidio and Jon Stainbrook, both Republicans, and Ron Ruthenbuhler, a Democrat. Mr. DeAngelis resigned Wednesday, without giving a reason for his departure.
Today's hearing is taking place in Government Center, with evidence presented in it to be used by Mr. Husted to make a final decision.
The hearing opened with Mr. DeGidio and Ms. Kaczala's lawyer, Paul Belazis, objecting to the lack of specific charges that his clients said made it impossible for them to defend themselves.
Hearing administrator Matt Damschroder, a deputy assistant secretary of state, said the hearings were informal.
As of mid-morning, Mr. Rothenbuhler was questioned and accused of not showing leadership of a dysfunction board, including that he did not schedule regular board meetings to allow Mr. Stainbrook to get issues on the agenda.
Mr. Rothenbuhler said he did everything he could to try and promote good will and not be a dictator.