COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The state Democratic Party’s executive committee voted Wednesday to begin the process of censure against the Trumbull County Democratic Party and chairman Dan Polivka.
Polivka and a bus full of supporters arrived in Columbus and were expected to give their side to the state Democratic Party over voting by secret ballot. Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman Dave Betras initiated the resolution calling for the investigation.
“What the Ohio Democratic Party did to Dan Polivka they did to the Mahoning County Party. The difference between how Dan Polivka reacted to it and how I reacted to it was I sat down with the Democratic Party and we worked out our differences,” Betras said.
State Rep. Sean O’Brien, D-Hubbard, called the committee’s action a step in the right direction before the unanimous vote, which touched off an exchange of words between Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern and Polivka.
“We are happy. We feel it’s a victory. What we have been saying all along, put someone to look at this. He was saying he could put all these charges out without even looking at his own Constitution. He should look at his own house before he is looking at Trumbull County,” Polivka said.
But Redfern fired back.
“He has got to have bylaws in accordance to the DNC’s bylaws. That is not my opinion. That is the opinion of the chairman of the DNC rules committee. You can’t get much higher than that and until that happens, the sanctions will remain in place,” Redfern said.
An examiner has 60 days to review the case and come up with a resolution. If the examiner can’t come up with a resolution, the executive committee will meet and decide the matter.
Redfern said if Trumbull County changes its bylaws and has a re-vote to replace commissioner Paul Heltzel, the process to remove Polivka could come to a halt.