Local billboard causing controversy

One of two billboards telling voters to vote against three candidates running for Washington Local School Board on November 7th. (WNWO/Marcus Espinoza)

On Tuesday the Lucas County Democratic Party filed a complaint against the PAC, Citizens for Successful Schools.

It claims someone paid $950 a piece for two billboards that tell voters not to vote for three candidates running for Washington Local School Board seats on November 7th.

The three listed are Mark Hughes (an endorsed democrat), Melanie Garcia and Patrick Hickey.

But the message is not the issue, the party claims whoever paid for those billboards, did not submit proper paperwork. According to campaign finance laws that information is supposed to be public.

"They failed to file the requisite campaign finance reporting forms with the Board of Elections, identifying the treasurer of their PAC," said Democratic Party Chair Joshua Hughes.

A treasurer is listed on the billboards as Robert Kondalski, but county democrats say there's no paperwork to back that up.

Former Washington Local Schools Superintendent Patrick Hickey is at the center of the controversy. He stepped down from that role in 2015 amid allegations of improper behavior.

He says current Washington Local Schools board member James Langendorfer, who he believes still holds a grudge, is behind the ads.

"He has violated ethics before, he hasn't done much for Washington Local Schools, he's kind of a negative guy and it's a very sad state of affairs that a sitting board member chooses to spend money to do that," said Hickey.

Langendorfer declined to comment.

Democrats say it's unlikely anything will be done in time for the election.

"If someone's out there engaging in this kind of activity against one of our candidates, we're going to make sure those groups abide by the law," said Hughes.

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