Paul McKibben reports:
The head of the Warren County Board of Elections is defending the board’s decision to replace its director.
Beverly Moore, the board’s chairwoman who is a Democrat, said there was no particular reason that Keir Holeman was let go last Friday. That same day, Holeman’s wife gave birth to their third child. The decision was made just days before Tuesday’s primary election.
“I have nothing at all derogatory to say about Keir in any way, shape or form,” Moore said.
Holeman is Democrat. His replacement is Republican Kimberlie Antrican was who was the deputy director. Holeman wasn’t given the deputy director of elections job. Instead the board named Democrat Brian Sleeth to that post who worked in the elections office.
Under Ohio law, elections officers continue in office at the board’s pleasure for two years. The director and deputy director must be of opposite parties. The board’s chairman has to be of an opposite party of the director.
The Warren County Board of Elections is comprised of Moore, Republican Lori Viars, county GOP chairman Jeff Monroe and Bethe Goldenfield, chairwoman of the county’s Democratic party.
Moore said the board didn’t make Holeman the deputy director “well, we just didn’t. … It just was one of those things that we didn’t do.” Holeman had been on family/sick leave because of his wife.
Holeman started in July 2008 as director. Documents The Enquirer received from the elections office about Holeman showed nothing negative. The board gave him a raise in 2009 and in 2011.
“He did a fine job. … We’re not talking about firing somebody here and I think that’s probably the difference here,” Moore said, later adding that Holeman was simply not reappointed.
Holeman said he was proud of the job he did in the county and said during his tenure the county ran great elections. He said nobody really told him why he wasn’t going to continue as director.
“I just didn’t have the votes to remain director,” he said.
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