by Joe Murphy


Twinsburg -- A city resident's complaint against Councilor Bill Hon that was originally filed with the Ohio Ethics Commission has now been filed with the Ohio Elections Commission and Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor's office.

However, both the elections commission and the auditor's office say they do not plan on investigating the complaint.

Resident Gene Esser, husband of Mayor Katherine Procop, argued in a May 2 letter to the Ohio Ethics Commission that Hon allegedly "misused public funds" when he verbally endorsed fellow Councilor Steve Murphy for mayor at a Ward 5 meeting at City Hall in early May.

Hon was recently reimbursed by the city for $393 he spent on refreshments for the meeting (See story, Page 16).

In the May primary election, Murphy and Procop advanced to the fall ballot, beating out third-place finisher, resident Sally Gaydosh.

Esser said June 12 he was advised by the Ohio Ethics Commission to file his complaint with the elections commission and the state auditor, which he said he did in early June.

Officials with the Ohio Ethics Commission would not comment on the status of the complaint.

However, the complaint will not be investigated by either the Ohio Elections Commission or the state auditor's office, according to officials with those organizations.

Steve Faulkner, deputy press secretary with the auditor's office, said Esser's letter, received June 7, was "not an audit issue." Faulkner said Procop and Esser were advised to take the issue to the Ohio Elections Commission.

Phil Richter, executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission, said Esser's complaint did not cite a specific statute Hon violated -- an essential part of a complaint. For that reason, Richter said he "plans to reject" the complaint, received June 6.

Esser said he plans to refile the complaint, with the specific statute included.


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