A Hudson resident who recently filed complaints challenging the candidacies of three people running in City Council’s Ward 1 race is now the subject of a complaint that will be addressed by the Summit County Board of Elections Tuesday morning.
Arthur J. Creehan Jr. delivered a letter to the board of elections on Friday, Sept. 20, stating that “Jessica L. Obert, who lives at 76 Parmelee Drive in Hudson, has been voting using her parent’s address at 64 Owen Brown St., Hudson, for the last five years.”
When reached by the Hub-Times on Monday afternoon, Obert said she was not notified about the complaint and declined to comment.
The Board of Elections’ meeting will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 9 a.m. in the board office, 470 Grant St., Akron.
Creehan wrote that he enclosed a copy of Obert’s voting records and a copy of a court case that lists Obert’s address at 76 Parmelee Drive. He also noted in the letter that he heard Obert “on multiple occasions address the Hudson City Council as living at 76 Parmelee Drive in Hudson.”
Obert in August filed documents with the board of elections protesting the city council candidacies of George Roth, Katherine Schlademan and S. David Worhatch. At a hearing on Aug. 29, the board ruled that Roth was ineligible to run for council because his company is contracted to do work on the new city hall building.
Obert claimed that Schlademan and Worhatch did not meet the residency requirement to run for council. Obert noted Schlademan had voted in Stow while living in Hudson. Schlademan and Worhatch were allowed to remain on the ballot, but Schlademan admitted in the hearing that she had voted in Stow while living in Hudson.
At a subsequent meeting, the board of elections voted to ask the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether Schlademan should face criminal charges for voting in Stow while living in Hudson. James Pollack, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office, said his office is currently reviewing the situation, but does not know when a decision will be made.
In his Sept. 20 letter to the board of elections, Creehan wrote that he was “somewhat reluctant” to expose Obert to charges, but noted he was “also quite surprised that the [board of elections] sent the Kate Schlademan case to the county prosecutor.”
“Realizing that this situation is not uncommon, wouldn’t it be better to not prosecute either case and use this as a message to others that this is not an acceptable process?” asked Creehan in the letter. “I feel that for political reasons a group of people in Hudson, including a current City Council person, went beyond reasonable actions to expose an opponent to criminal charges for what was clearly an innocent mistake by both parties. My purpose for this complaint is to show that this is not an uncommon event and my feedback shows that it is an innocent mistake that often happens when moving from a parent’s home.”
Creehan added he was sending the letter to the Summit County Prosecutor.
Both Creehan and Obert are connected in recent city history: Creehan was the leader of Citizens For An Informed Hudson, a group that favored Hudson’s Downtown Phase II project, while Obert spearheaded Hudson’s Voice LLC, a group that opposed the Phase II proposal.
See www.mytownneo.com and the Sept. 29 edition of the Hudson Hub-Times for an update on the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.