Deerfield supervisors discuss problems at poll

The reported primary election day actions of a Deerfield Township employee were the subject of serious discussion at Monday’s supervisors meeting.

Township secretary Sharon Flasher reported that Solicitor Tim Bevevino had contacted the township. “Mr. Bevevino called me and he had a complaint from Tom Kollar saying (Roadmaster) Bill Jewell was harassing him.”

“Mr. Bevevino told me this was not acceptable,” she said.

Jewell was not present at Monday’s meeting.

Kollar, who was running a write-in campaign for supervisor, was not the only one to complain about Jewell.

Mary Donahue, who was campaigning for tax collector, wrote a letter to supervisor Chairman John Barnes saying she felt Jewell’s actions were “totally inappropriate and intimidating.”

In the letter, Donahue said Jewell took a picture of her and Kollar outside the polling place. She said Jewell told her “you’re not the one I’m after,” when she asked why he was taking pictures.

“If Mr. Jewell is not after me… I can only assume he was referring to Mr. Kollar,” she wrote. “Having an on-duty employee make threats against a township resident is totally unacceptable.”

“That should be cause for discipline,” Donahue’s husband, Ed, said Monday. “I take it very seriously. He was threatening people. This guy was doing this to intimidate the two of them.”

Mary Donahue said Jewell also told the candidates they needed to be 100 feet from the polling place. Donahue said she checked with Flasher, who is also township judge of elections and confirmed that the candidates only had to be 10 feet from the entrance.

Barnes said Jewell told him he believed the requirement to be 100 feet.

Flasher said she spoke to Jewell.

“He told me it was none of my business and to go back into the building,” Flasher said.

Warren County Director of Elections Lisa Zuck attended the meeting. “Sharon is the authority here on Election Day,” she said. “We pay you guys to use this facility and the parking lot for Election Day.”

“He just makes people scared,” Supervisor John Flasher, who is Sharon Flasher’s husband, said. “People must feel safe at the polls and must feel safe at these meetings.”

Sharon Flasher said she could not get through a door from the meeting room to the garage to get to a phone on primary election day. In a letter to the supervisors, she said the lack of a second exit and a phone represented “a very scary situation.”

Zuck stated that it is a requirement that there be a phone in the polling place.

In response to a proposal that a phone be installed in the office, John Flasher said, “the answer isn’t more phones, it’s to get on his case, in fact terminate him.”

Flasher said he had another problem with Jewell.

“I won’t sign his bi-weekly pay report,” he said. “I don’t believe anything on it.”

In addition to confirming the voting-place rules, Zuck represented the county at the meeting. “Mr. (Commissioner John) Eggleston is very adamant about having something done as far as a disciplinary action,” she said. “If something isn’t resolved, we will take further action. It needs to be resolved before Election Day.”

“I believe some sort of disciplinary action should be taken against Mr. Jewell and a clear message sent that the citizens of Deerfield Township are not to be threatened or harassed,” Donahue wrote.

Flasher made a motion that Bevevino be involved in discussions of Jewell’s reported actions from May 21. “I want him involved,” Flasher said. “I think this is a legal matter.” That motion passed unanimously.