Gallagher out; Kaczala in at Lucas County BOE - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Gallagher out; Kaczala in at Lucas County BOE

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The Lucas County Board of Elections has a new director, tonight, just two months before the May primary.

This morning, the board fired director Meghan Gallagher, who had been on the job since March 2012, and replaced her with Gina Kaczala, who has served as secretary to the board for more than two years.

The change was made quickly but troubles in the office had been brewing for years.

Gina Kaczala is the new director at the Lucas County Board of Elections following a vote by board members, Tuesday morning.

None of the board members blamed Gallagher for the troubles that have plagued the Board of Elections since before she got there.   But the feeling was, as director, Meghan Gallagher did not help resolve those issues either.

Gallagher was fired at a mandated reogranizational meeting required of all Boards of Elections, in Ohio.

But Tuesday, Lucas County's BOE decided it needed to make a change at the top.   Republican board member--and Lucas County Republican Party chairman, Jon Stainbrook, was not on board with the change. 

During the meeting, Stainbrook attacked Kaczala personally and professionally, saying,  "Gina has no management skills, no professional ability and is incapable of telling the truth and the voters of lucas county deserve better."

But Stainbrook lost the vote 3 to 1 and Meghan Gallagher was out.
 
Democratic board member John Irish cast the deciding vote.  Irish told 13 abc's Bill Hormann, "Miss Gallagher was not a good fit for the staff, for the office, for the board."

Democratic board member, Ron Rothenbuhler, who is also the Lucas County Democratic Party chairman, told 13abc, "I have personally observed what I think is not a positive attitude in this office."

Last year, a report written on behalf of the Secretary of State found an office it called, "devoid of management leadership..." and "culturally plagued by mistrust and fear."

One employee has a sign on the desk that says "Insane Asylum" and seems to imply a sense of frustration in the office.

Republican board member, Tony DeGidio, who put Kaczala's name in nomination against Gallagher says, the "Secretary of State advised us of a number of problems we had a long time ago and it really hasn't gotten better.  I'm hoping some new blood in that position will help."

"With me, tomorrow's a fresh start."

Gina Kaczala is the new blood in the position. 

The Republican made of point of standing side-by-side with Democratic deputy director Dan DeAngelis to show a united office willing to tackle political and personal issues.

Kaczala told 13abc, "It's teamwork; that's all it is. Teamwork.  And we are going to work hard and we are going to do our best."

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