One more of the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio, Board of Elections directors, Republican Sally Florkiewicz, has stepped down this afternoon. Her resignation leaves just one member, the board's chairman, Bob Bennett, left to fight the demand by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner that all board members resign in the wake of a years-long string of elections disasters, two criminal convictions related to the recount of the 2004 Presidential Election, and a new criminal investigation which was launched last week into newly-revealed administrative election improprieties and irregularities in the county.
The resignation of Florkiewicz from the board of Ohio's most Democratic county leaves only Bennett --- who is the chair of both the Election Board and the state's Republican party --- to fight the order by Brunner. A hearing will be held next Monday concerning the complaint filed along with the SoS's resignation demands, after which Brunner is free to fire Bennett directly, according to state law. As ever, the members of Ohio's supposedly "bi-partisan" boards of election have always served at the pleasure of the SoS, who, for years, was the highly partisan right-winger and co-chair of Ohio's Bush/Cheney 2004 committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell.
Brunner replaced Blackwell last November after the former SoS was thoroughly rejected by Ohio voters in his bid for Governor.
"Regrettably, the lone board member who has refused to resign will face removal," Brunner said in a statement posted to the SoS website late this afternoon. As to today's resignation, she added, "It's unfortunate that Ms. Florkiewicz was unable to resign until faced with a complaint to remove her from the board."
While the board's two Democratic members resigned last week not long after receiving Brunner's request, an official in Ohio closely following the matter has told The BRAD BLOG that Florkiewicz exited her post today with anything but grace.
"The Secretary of State has decided to use the Cuyahoga County Board of Election to advance a partisan agenda," Florkiewicz contended in her resignation letter, "and I am not willing to be used as a political statement."
But one of our sources wonders how the request to remove "2 D's and 2 R's demonstrates a partisan agenda"...