After a lengthy investigation into "dysfunction" at the Lucas County Board of Elections, the state has decided to remove three officials from the board.
Board members Ron Rothenbuler, Jon Stainbrook, and Tony DeGidio have been removed from the board, effective immediately, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.
Matt Damschroder, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, was appointed by Husted to investigate dysfunction within the board in April. "In Lucas County, the petty infighting, personality conflicts and sloppy administration have gone on long enough," Husted wrote to each official. "I simply cannot jeopardize the integrity of future elections in Lucas County. The citizens and voters deserve better."
With the recommendation of Damschroder, Husted took immediate action this week, removing the three board members and suspended board member John Irish until new board members can be sworn in.
Also on the chopping block is Director Gina Kaczala. Husted said that while Kaczala is not blameless, she will be kept on the board as interim director "for the sake of the immediate administrative and operational needs of the Board of Elections."
Deputy Director Dan DeAngelis turned in his resignation after the state's initial firing recommendations.
Husted said Thursday that he will not replace outgoing members with any person with ties to problems of the past. "The record established over the years is replete with players, new and old that have contributed to the systemic issues that have led us where we are today," said Husted. "The citizens of Lucas County need a fresh start."