Committee: Lucas Co. BOE director, deputy director and 3 others - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Committee: Lucas Co. BOE director, deputy director and 3 others should be replaced

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UPDATE: Nearly everyone must go. That's the recommendation from a state transparency committee to the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Days after Lucas County Board of Elections members started yelling at each other while voters were being counted, a state committee is recommending almost everybody be replaced.

The transparency committee from the Secretary of State’s office grilled members for five hours about their problems on Friday and is now calling for an almost complete clean sweep.

 The committee has recommended that Lucas County Board of Elections Director Gina Kaczala, Deputy Director Daniel DeAngelis, and board members Ronald Rothenbuhler, Anthony DeGidio and Jon Stainbrook all be replaced. 

"I think we tried for a long time in the secretary of state's office to get it resolved,” says Scott  Borgemenke .  “I think it's disappointing when you have to do these things.  But like I said, I don't think we knew what to do more.  I don't think we could have done anything else.  If you keep doing more of the same you're going to get more of the same.  At the end of the day, this will be another try and hopefully the culture will break through.  and so this is no one person's fault, it's a whole group's fault."

The decision is ultimately up to Secretary of State John Husted.

* * * * * * *

ORIGINAL STORY:

Days after Lucas County Board of Elections members started yelling at each other while votes were being counted, a state committee is again in town to discuss board problems.

The Transparency Committee from the Secretary of State's office is grilling the Lucas County Board of Elections on Friday about what is described as "chaos" and "panic" on Tuesday's primary election night.

13abc cameras were rolling as board members Jon Stainbrook and Democrat John Irish had to be separated Tuesday night.

It's the latest example of what Secretary of State John Husted calls the board's inability to work together.

"There is no doubt in my mind there was an altercation,” says Scott Borgemenke, Chairman of the transparency committee which met on Friday. “There's been an altercation here for 30 years. Every election night."

 On Friday, a four-member panel appointed by Husted, which includes former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, is hearing from all sides about what happened.

One issue is the swearing-in of observers to oversee the vote counting process: who was authorized to be in certain areas and where is the paperwork to prove it?

The new board director Gina Kaczala says she did not swear in two people, including former board director Meghan Gallagher, who was recently fired from the job.

 Although there is no paperwork, Stainbrook says he swore the two women in as observers, and board chairman Ron Rothenbuhler says he witnessed it.

 Gina Kaczala, Director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, says, "I did not swear them in because they would not allow me to swear them in and they were being very verbally abusive to me and I had an election to run and frankly I didn't have time for that kind of behavior."

Board member John Irish says, "There was screaming, yelling, all kinds of confusion. People interfering with the election in my estimation."

Board member Jon Stainbrook says, "That absolutely did not happen. What happened was there were five data cards missing. This is where the altercation came in."

The panel also discussed the five "missing" memory cards. We are hearing testimony that the cards were in storage and were never used in the first place. An IT technician testified that there were no votes on those memory cards.
 
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