Jobs of two Lucas Co. election officials spared, Board member's future uncertain

Board Members Jon Stainbrook, far left, and Tony Degidio (wearing glasses) argued publically at Tuesday's meeting.

The Director and Deputy Director of the Lucas County Board of Elections have avoided getting pink slips; again, after a motion to fire them failed at a meeting on Tuesday morning.

The future employment of Board Member Tony Degidio was called into question, however, after doubts about his residency in Lucas County were brought up during the same meeting.

The gathering began with the distribution of an 11-page rebuttal report, compiled by Board of Elections Director Meghan Gallagher, which responds to recommendations made by a pair of consultants in February.

The consultants, appointed by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, were hired after the Lucas County BOE was placed under "administrative oversight" and encouraged the firing of Gallagher and Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis.

Gallagher's rebuttal report disputed the recommendation saying that the Board's staff needs "to know that the office of Director and Deputy Director is not a revolving door".

Before getting much further into her rebuttal, Board Member Tony Degidio demanded to know how much taxpayer time Gallagher spent compiling the rebuttal report.

Gallagher defended the "hundreds of hours" used to write the rebuttal saying the report not only defends her actions but those of the entire Board.

While coming to the defense of Gallagher, Board Member Jon Stainbrook turned the tables on Degidio and made repeated assertions that Degidio was no longer a resident of Lucas County and had no place being on the Board.

Two motions would then follow another series of verbal squabbles between Degidio and Stainbrook.

Board Member John Irish moved to terminate Gallagher and DeAngelis but failed to get another Board member to support him.

"I am the last person to give up on somebody. I'm going to give them 30 days to see if we can accomplish more of what we see here," Board Director Ron Rothenbuhler said referring to Gallagher's rebuttal.

Degidio said he was barred from voting on the motion because of an unrelated complaint Gallagher has filed against him with the Toledo Bar Association.

A request for a residency hearing was also set up for March 27th to validate Degidio's residency in Lucas County, an action he says is being fueled by Stainbrook.

"I could possibly lose my job on the Board because I'm not going to do that anymore, vote the way [Mr.Stainbrook] wants me to vote,â?? Degidio said.