Secretary of State Jon Husted today upheld his hearing officer’s recommendation to remove Lucas County Elections Board member James Hartley.
Mr. Husted said in a three-page decision that Mr. Hartley demonstrated poor judgment in his efforts to replace former Republican elections director Gina Kaczala, first with Lucas County GOP Chairman Jon Stainbrook and then with an unqualified candidate whose last job was as engineer aboard a tugboat.
Mr. Husted removed Mr. Stainbrook and two other men as board members in 2014 to end what he saw as a period of chaos and dysfunction on the elections board, and made it clear he would not tolerate appointments to the board of anyone connected to that era.
“It appears as though you and the local Republican party have not learned anything from the mistakes of the past. The Lucas County Board of Elections’ job is to serve the people of Lucas County and not the narrow interests of a few individuals,” Mr. Husted wrote.
The removal of Mr. Hartley means the local Republicans will have to recommend a replacement to Mr. Husted. The four-member elections board has two Democrats and two Republicans.
In a statement yesterday, before Mr. Husted’s decision, Mr. Hartley said the hearing officer provided no wrongdoing on his part, and said he hoped Mr. Husted would not assume wrongdoing.
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