STARK COUNTY, Ohio — The Supreme Court of Ohio has ordered the removal of Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier because “he does not meet the legal qualifications to be sheriff.”
Former Sheriff Timothy Swanson was reinstated until a qualified candidate can be appointed by the Stark County Democratic Committee.
According to court records, Michael McDonald was elected sheriff in 2012 but couldn’t take office due to health reasons. After McDonald’s decision, Swanson was appointed acting sheriff until a permanent replacement was chosen.
Maier was appointed the new sheriff in early 2013.
Swanson filed a challenge that Maier was not qualified to fill the position; namely the requirement that he be employed within the four years prior to becoming sheriff as a highway patrol officer or as a full-time peace officer, according to the release.
The court determined that Maier did not meet that qualification, according to court documents.
Maier released a statement that said:
Today I was notified that the Supreme Court has ruled to remove me from office as Sheriff and reinstate Sheriff Timothy Sawnson.
I am saddened by the news of the Supreme Court. I have always and continue to believe that I meet the requirements to be Sheriff. I respect the ruling of the Court and will follow their decision.
It has always been and continues to be my goal to assist and support the Stark County Sheriff’s Office as a loyal and professional public servant. It has been my honor to serve as the Stark County Sheriff.
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