In February 2013, only two individuals met the legal qualifications to be considered for appointment as the Stark County sheriff according to Ohio Revised Code section 311.01. Though Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero publicly expressed his legal opinion that George Maier did not meet the legal qualifications, the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee appointed Maier as Stark County sheriff on Feb. 5.
Knowing that a lawsuit was filed by now-ex-Sheriff Tim Swanson and that the Stark County prosecutor gave his legal opinion that Maier was not qualified, the Stark County commissioners still issued Maier a bond.
Commissioners then allowed Maier to spend taxpayers' money placing his name on cruisers, signage and stationery, knowing full well that a lawsuit was pending and Maier's appointment could ultimately be overturned.
In November, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling that Maier did not meet the legal qualifications to be appointed as Stark County sheriff, and he was removed from office.
In December, the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee wrongly appointed Maier as sheriff a second time. Commissioners issued Maier a second bond having full knowledge of the legal opinion of the Stark County Prosecutor's Office and the ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court.
The actions of the commissioners raise some serious questions:
• Why did they issue any bond to Maier?
• Whom did they seek legal advice from before issuing either bond to Maier?
• How do the commissioners' actions expose Stark County to further litigation, liability and expenses?
I believe the taxpayers are entitled to the answers to these questions from commissioners.
PAMELA DENCZAK HENDERHAN,