LORAIN — Lorain police took issue with a candidate for Lorain Municipal Clerk of Courts calling an investigation into the former clerk “a witch hunt.”
Lori Maiorana resigned from the position effective Jan. 1, citing health reasons for her decision. She had one year left in her term, which expires Dec. 31. Lorain police noted at the time that the department was investigating her for alleged improprieties while she was in office.
Police haven’t released much information about the investigation, but Jeff Bearer, the candidate who made the remark that irked police, and current Clerk of Courts Ted Kalo, who was appointed to the position in January, have said it appears to deal with staffing issues.
Bearer had been hired to work in the Clerk of Courts office by Maiorana but was fired from his position shortly after Kalo took over.
In an interview with The Chronicle-Telegram last week, Bearer said there were some complaints from a few workers about how Maiorana handled overtime and vacation, but he didn’t believe his former boss had done anything wrong.
He described the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
Lorain Police Capt. Roger Watkins took issue with Bearer’s assessment.
“The complaint against the clerk came from within that department,” Watkins said. “We conducted an investigation and forwarded it to the Lorain County prosecutor for an independent review.
“I think Mr. Bearer should have reserved his opinion that this investigation was a ‘witch hunt’ for the primary fact that he’s part of the investigation. We take offense at his comment and feel that he shouldn’t cast aspersions on police investigators, who are frankly indifferent to who holds that position. I encourage him to run his campaign but to leave Lorain police out of politics.”
Watkins said Bearer was not the focus of the investigation, saying that “he was mentioned in the investigation and I believe was interviewed.”
When asked if Bearer could face criminal charges in connection with the investigation, Watkins said he couldn’t comment.
Bearer didn’t return requests for comment.
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