Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election Board Keeps Sheriff Candidate on Ballot

By Juli Schilling

It was a good day for Republican sheriff's candidate Stephen Kane.

The Athens County Board of Elections voted unanimously to keep him in the running for Athens County sheriff this November.

A friend of incumbent Sheriff Vernon Castle had filed a protest against Kane's candidacy claiming he didn't meet state requirements of experience to run for sheriff. The complaint claimed Kane was not paid as a full-time peace officer for at least one day in the last four years, which would make him ineligible to run for sheriff.

Kane worked full-time for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation until his retirement in October 2003. Kane's lawyer Bob Toy said Kane also worked as an unpaid special deputy in Meigs County in July 2006 and in November and December 2007. The complaint contended that since the Meigs county work was unpaid, it didn't count as fulltime.

Neither Sheriff Castle nor the person filing the complaint, Steve McVey of Guysville attended the hearing. But McVey's lawyer Frederick Oremus tried to make the case that unpaid work didn't count.

"You can be employed without compensation, because I was employed by our prosecutor's office, and I charged a hot dog," said Toy in Kane's defense.

After the meeting, Kane said he was disappointed in the sheriff, but he was very excited for the election and all the support he received from friends, neighbors and the OU College Republicans.

Watch the Athens MidDay interview with Steven Kane after the Election Board meeting

"By law he's eligible and by experience he's more than qualified," said Jo Parsons, one of Kane's supporters who attended the meeting.

"I've known him for a long time. I've known his family. They're a great family. He's a great guy, and he'll make a wonderful sheriff," Parsons said.

Castle is unsure whether he will appeal the board's decision or not. On Monday Castle dropped another similar complaint about the qualifications of his primary opponent, Democrat Pat Kelly.

So, whomever wins the March 5 primary, incumbent Sheriff Vern Castle or challenger Pat Kelly, will face Steven Kane for sheriff of Athens County in the November election.

Related Links
Ohio Election Information
Athens County Voter Information
Voting for OU Students

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