A recent email circulation featuring Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro has drawn the attention of her opposition, Republican Bill Roemer. Her campaign says it was an "honest mistake".
The Email is being sent by the County's Veterans Service Commission, and features a photo of Shapiro and a request to help the Democratic Party's "Get Out The Vote" campaign.
Roemer says he was contacted by a Veterans Service Commission employee regarding the Email...
In a statement just out this afternoon, Shapiro's campaign says it was an "honest mistake."
The campaign says the Email went out by mistake to the VSC and other county agencies that do not use the county's summitoh.net for Email.
The campaign estimates that about 20 E-mails went out to those addresses, and that a VSC employee forwarded it thinking it was routine county Email.
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(Bill Roemer Campaign) Candidate for Summit County Executive Bill Roemer delivered a letter to the Veterans Service Commission of Summit County (VSC) today, asking for a full investigation into the recent use of county resources by at least one county VSC employee for partisan political activities in support of the candidacy of Ilene Shapiro for County Executive. The email, which was sent through the VSC email system to all employees, and included the official VSC logo, contained information from the Shapiro campaign regarding campaign events, fundraisers, and picking up campaign yard signs.
In a statement, Roemer said;
"I call on Ilene Shapiro to immediately reject this illegal use of public resources as part of her campaign, and scrub her campaign email database of any official county email addresses. This type of misuse of taxpayer dollars undermines the public's trust in county government. As County Executive, I will push for a charter amendment prohibiting county elected officials from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions from county employees they oversee and imposing limits on donations from those who receive unbid contracts from the county, so that the public can have full faith that employees and those who do work with the county will be focused on their jobs and not the political campaigns of their bosses."
The email was brought to the campaign's attention when VSC employees approached the Roemer campaign and said that they felt pressured to support the Shapiro campaign because the request came through the official VSC email system.
Bill Roemer is a former at-large county council member, and current member of the Summit County Educational Services Center (ESC) Board of Governors. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and was director of Ohio sales for a major telecommunications firm before his retirement from the private sector.
(Elect Ilene Shapiro campaign, news release) The Elect Ilene Shapiro campaign is issuing the following press release in response to a press release issued earlier today by our opponent:
Shortly after Ilene Shapiro announced her intention to run for the position of County Executive, campaign staff began compiling an email database of volunteers, community supporters and members of the public that may have interest in her campaign. During that process, care was taken to keep the public emails of Summit County employees off the list. Campaign staff scrubbed the list of any emails with “summitoh.net” in the extension, which staff believed would keep all Summit County emails out of the database. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to the campaign staff, a handful of agencies, none of which are under the control of the County Executive, use email extensions that do not include summitoh.net. Those agencies were the Veterans ServiceCommission, Summit Metro Parks, Summit Children Services Board, Summit Developmental Disabilities and the Summit County Engineer.
After we were notified today that a campaign email was inadvertently sent to an employee on October 7, 2016 at the Summit County Veterans Service Commission, campaign staff determined that the same email went to less than 20 Summit County email addresses, all of which are emails in agencies that do not use the "summitoh.net” extension. While campaign staff attempted to prevent this issue, an honest mistake was made and has now been addressed so that the issue does not occur in the future. Out of the 11,031 email addresses that received the October 7, 2016email, this issue affected less than 20 Summit County email addresses.
The Elect Ilene Shapiro campaign apologizes for this honest mistake and has taken the proper steps to remedy the issue. The campaign has verified that the email in question did not go to Summit County email addresses for any employee that is employed by or under the authority of the County Executive. Additionally, the VSC staff member that forwarded the email is not a part of the campaign, and we believe she innocently forwarded the email to staff thinking that it was a routine County communication.