Tuesday, February 26, 2008
XENIA — Greene County Recorder Mary Morris, in a primary battle to keep her job, and her daughter are being accused of tampering with her opponent's campaign sign.
According to a police report, Jodi Ferguson and her daughter Mallori told police they saw Morris' daughter, Melissa Caserta, using a Craig Saunders sign to cover up one of Eric Sears' signs along U.S. 68 near Spring Valley-Paintersville Road on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Ferguson, who's supporting Saunders in his primary bid for state representative of the 84th district, stopped to confront Caserta and was told by a woman in a white Cadillac parked nearby, "I'm Morris, and she's helping me," the report said.
Greene County Chief Deputy Mark Berry said prosecutors in Xenia Municipal Court are reviewing charges of criminal mischief against Caserta and complicity to criminal mischief against Morris. Saunders and Sears told deputies they wanted to pursue charges.
Saunders, who is the Xenia assistant prosecutor, said a special prosecutor would likely be requested.
Morris did not return phone calls Monday and Caserta could not be reached.
This is the second allegation against Morris this primary season. In early February, Sears said he had statements from workers in Morris' office who witnessed her order an employee to put up her election signs.
Morris denied the allegations, saying an unclassified employee volunteered to take a personal day to put up her signs.
Sears plans to take both complaints to the Ohio Elections Commission after the primary, he said.