Paulding Officials Under Fire: Citizen Group Seeks To Throw Commissioners Out Of Office

By Jeff Neumeyer

May 23, 2013 Updated May 23, 2013 at 6:08 PM EDT

PAULDING, Ohio (www.incnow.tv) --- A group of citizens in Paulding Ohio, unhappy about a government personnel shakeup, wants to oust the county's three commissioners.

But does state law give them the authority to go after their jobs?

About 450 people have become members of a Facebook campaign named, “Recall Paulding Ohio Commissioners”.

Much of the unrest comes from supporters of the local dog kennel.

The Republican county commissioners recently announced plans to replace the emergency management director, and dog warden Georgia Dyson.

Dyson's backers have ramped up the effort to essentially try and get rid of the commissioners, claiming they are ignoring public input, in particular related to Dyson’s job status.

Commissioner Fred Pieper says the two jobs will fold under the sheriff's control, and will lead to better government oversight.

He says the emergency management director was not held accountable by his board.

" You know, a board that hadn't met in two years. I mean, come on let's get real. If that's not supervision lax, I don't know what is," Pieper said.

Several voters showed up at a commissioners meeting to demand answers about the changes, but they weren’t satisfied with the response.

" When I said, is this a done deal, there's no changing your mind, there's no talking about it? And Mr. Pieper looked at me and said, 'yes ma'am'," said Kathy Habern, an advocate for proper treatment of animals and a supporter of Georgia Dyson.

The opponents of the commissioners are planning a petition drive, in an attempt to get the recall issue on this November's ballot for at least one of the commissioners.

But the Paulding County Board of Elections claims the Ohio Secretary of State's office doesn't believe state statute permits impeaching or recalling a county commissioner.

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