O’Grady challenges rejection as Trumbull Sheriff candidate

Joe O'Grady appealed the decision that he could not run for Trumbull County Sheriff due to filing his paperwork a day late. The board held its original decision.

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the second time, former Warren policeman Joe O’Grady has been told he can’t run in the Democratic Primary for Trumbull County Sheriff.

The first time was two weeks ago, after O’Grady filed his qualification papers one day late. On Monday, he attended an appeal hearing with the county Board of Elections to protest that decision.

O’Grady sat in the front row. Behind him were 25 of his supporters — some with “O’Grady for Sheriff” t-shirts.

Representing O’Grady was Warren attorney John Large.

Testifying first was Trumbull County Board of Elections employee Joanne Hulvalchick. She provided O’Grady with a Secretary of State’s memo from 2003.

O’Grady later testified as well. He said according to that qualification packet, the paperwork was not due until January.

On December 16, the day the documents were actually due, Hulvalchick said she received a call from another Sheriff’s candidate, Howland Police Chief Paul Monroe, who asked when the qualifications were due.

Also on December 16, Hulvalchick called Joe O’Grady’s sister, Katherine — his campaign treasurer, to remind her about the qualification documents. According to her testimony, O’Grady had two hours to get the documents together after her phone call.

In the meantime, Paul Monroe was getting his documents together, too. He also appeared confused about the deadline and barely submitted them on time.

Trumbull County Election Board Chairman Mark Alberini displayed a pamphlet from the Secretary of State, which stated the the qualification documents were due on the filing deadline — December 16.

The Board then recessed and deliberated for approximately 40 minutes.

“It’s a candidate’s responsibility to know the law, investigate the law, the requirements, the qualifications and the deadlines,” Alberini said.

The board’s ruling was unanimous — it would not allow O’Grady on the March 15th primary ballot.

O’Grady did not comment following that ruling.

Incumbent Thomas Altiere and challenger Paul Monroe are running in the Democratic primary election, scheduled for March 15.

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