Ohio Secretary of State suspends member of Lucas County BOE

Ohio Secretary of State suspends member of Lucas County BOE

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is suspending another Republican in the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Jim Hartley was removed Tuesday morning following a board of elections reorganizing meeting on March 3.

Husted says during that meeting local Republican head Jon Stainbrook was texting GOP board members from the back of the room.

When Secretary of State Husted found out, he wrote a letter to the board members, calling their behavior "infantile" and made a request for the following information:

(1) Copies of all communications, including electronic forms of communications such as email, text messages, or instant-messaging methods (IM), sent to or received by board members during the course of the March 3, 2017 special meeting of the board. You may only exclude communications from individuals regarding personal matters unrelated to the Lucas County Board of Elections. However, all communications sent to or received by a board member during the course of the March 3, 2017 special meeting that are related in any way to the Lucas County Board of Elections are required to be provided to my office, including all communications between any board member and any person identified as attending the meeting in the minutes from March 3, 2017; and

Jon Stainbrook, who was removed by Husted from the board three years ago, later said none of the texts were related to election matters, and it's ridiculous for anyone to suggest he was influencing the GOP members. Stainbrook also said Secretary of State Husted should stop running for Governor all the time and fix the problems in the board of elections.

Following the controversial meeting, Husted also investigated if a private meeting was held about a new director. Husted found the nominee was "wholly unqualified" and said the matter, along with others, cannot be overlooked.

Now, the Secretary plans to have a hearing to decide it Hartley should be permanently removed from the board.

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