COLUMBUS, Ohio - The chairman of the Lucas County Board of Elections has been removed by Ohio's Secretary of State.
WTOL 11 reports Dr. Bruce Saferin has been removed from his position on the board by Secretary of State Jon Husted. The decision comes after a Friday hearing in Columbus to address a number of issues experienced during the November general election.
In a letter to Saferin, Husted wrote that he came to the decision to remove Saferin after reviewing the transcripts of Friday's hearing.
"I am hereby removing you, effective immediately, as a member of the Lucas County Board of Elections for good and sufficient cause," Husted wrote. "I am particularly disappointed to take this action today because when I appointed you I specifically explained that I expected well-run elections, and that any connections to the dysfunctional past would not be acceptable. You have failed to fulfill both of these expectations."
Dr. Saferin did not attend the hearing.
Husted cited delays in processing absentee ballots, ballot shortages and timely reporting of election results during the November General Election as some of the issues that prompted the hearing. Lucas County was one of the last in the state to report results on election night.
The Secretary of State also cited concern with an election night conversation Saferin had with two former Board members.
"I am deeply concerned that your huddle with Jon Stainbrook and Meghan Gallagher directly outside the enterance to the ballot tabulation room at the Board's early vote center indicate nothing less than a troublesome return to the relationships and problems of the past that have plagued the Board," Husted wrote.
Husted removed Stainbrook from the Board in June of 2014 after a chaotic primary election earlier that year. Gallagher was ousted as director of the Board in March of 2014 by a vote of Board members.
The Board of Elections will now begin the search to replace Saferin. In his letter, Husted did not set a deadline for a new chair to be in place.