Democratic Chairman responds to accusations

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — Trumbull County’s Democratic Chairman is reacting to the state chairman’s accusations that they violated DNC bylaws by using a paper ballot to choose the late Paul Heltzel’s successor.

The Ohio Democratic Party Chairman moved forward with suspending services to the Trumbull County Democratic Chairman after he said they violated their bylaws. Meanwhile, local officials stand by their decision to hold a secret ballot, saying they were following their laws.

“I think he should be man enough to call me on the phone instead of doing this in the paper and in the media,” said Trumbull County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Polivka.

Polivka is speaking out, and said that they were following their local bylaws by holding a “secret ballot” when it came to choosing the late Paul Heltzel’s successor. He said they met the state and national party’s requirements with the final vote.

“We voice voted on the floor to confirm Mauro Cantalamessa so I see that we met both requirements we stay within our bylaws but the ultimate vote was a voice vote and seconded and the whole body supported it,” explained Polivka. “It doesn’t matter what they say, they’re in violation, it doesn’t matter if you took 15 votes before there was a final vote, any vote has to be public.”

Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern said the state party has already suspended access to an online voter file system, first class mail program, and they’ll be taking away equipment, such as computers, that the party provided at some point this week. He said he expects Trumbull County to re-write their constitution so that they’ll be in compliance with the DNC, and if they don’t, they’ll remove Polivka from his post.

“Yeah, I don’t think he can do that and I will not stand for those type of intimidating bully-type politics,” said Polivka.

Redfern anticipates that the Trumbull County Democratic Party will have to hold a re-do on the election.

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