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The Story of an Ohio 2004 Whistle-Blower

By Sherole Eaton  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Letter to the Editor of the Logan Daily News
January 17, 2006
From: Sherole L. Eaton
411 Zanesville Avenue
Logan, Ohio 43138 740-385-0205 email: sherole1@verizon.net

On December 13, 2004, I came forward with an affidavit, which included the statement that a TriAd employee dismantled the computer that housed, on its hard drive, the tabulation of votes for Hocking County. Votes, when being handled (hard drive) need to be in the presence of board members and any other persons who are entitled to witness the official canvass. The technician was left alone while dismantling the computer. A hearing was scheduled by the board members to investigate TriAd 's reason/reasons for this action. Surprisingly, the board found no wrongdoing by the TriAd employee.

Board members and staff suddenly changed the mood of the office after I exercised my First Amendment. The board has labeled me as disruptive, incompetent and not a team player. Not only are these allegations not true, they are contradictory when coupled with the board's show of confidence in me during my employment with the the Hocking County Board of Elections. Also, the board voted in January 2005, that I was to use or lose my compensatory time by June 1, 2005. Use of compensatory time by the director and deputy director have, in the past, been at the discretion of the director and deputy director. The staff of two and myself took great pains and worked many hours to obtain an election in Hocking County that would give the voters in this county the confidence in their board of elections. We achieved our goals and received accolades from the board members and the public. Mr. Gerald Robinette, Chairman of the Board of Elections, announced in two Democratic meetings that we had performed an outstanding job.

The position of Deputy Director of Boards of Elections is an appointed position for a term of two years, an oath is taken to uphold the duties of the office and the law states that this position does not have to be filled. Most Boards of Elections fill this position to maintain continuity in the offices and to insure risk of bipartisan acts. Continuity was maintained when the Director of the Hocking County Board of Elections was unable to fulfill her duties during the 2004 General Election. I served as Acting Director during this important election.

I informed Mr. Robinette of the director 's use of county time to raise money for her party and the shredding of voter 's records without permission from the board and records that were on the Secretary of State 's Record Retention Schedule. The director admitted to these offenses in a board meeting held on July 5, 2005. These offenses are recorded in the board minutes and were reported by the Logan Daily News. As of this date the board has not taken action on the above misuse of office and the shredding of registered voter 's records.

I am 66 years old and have worked since I was 15 years old. My work record, including 13 years with the State of Ohio, is exemplary. My last position with the state was an appointed position by the governor. The election of the opposing party 's governor brought about my dismissal since office rehires by the opposing party are typical. The board dismissed me as Deputy Director from the Hocking County Board of Elections on May 19, 2005. No reason was given. A suit against my dismissal is pending in Hocking County Common Pleas Court. This is a painful and costly ordeal not only for myself but also for county resources. I am using the equity in my home and credit cards to fight this unjust action by the Hocking County Board of Elections.
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Hocking County voters may attend the regular County Board of Elections Meetings held in the Court House board office on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00 PM. The next meeting is Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 2:00 PM.
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