Claim they had not been properly served papers
April 3, 2013
State Board of Election conducted a preliminary hearing on the Complaint filed against the Avon Action party and members Lisa Rusch, Chris Ditton, Tom Brust and Elona Hamilton.
The Complaint for Violation of the Campaign Disclosure Act was filed on March 30th by Avon Township Trustees Douglas Raul Williams and William McNeill. The complaint resulted from a Township Newsletter sent to Avon Township residents without Avon Township board approval. The mailing is a “political mailing paid for by the Avon Township Taxpayers” said Trustee McNeill.
Trustee McNeill and Trustee Williams complainants and Jeanne Kearby as a witness were in attendance; across the table were Lowell Jaffe, described as a Avon Action Political Consultant and Avon Action member, Chris Ditton. Absent from the table were, Lisa Rusch, Tom Brust and Elona Hamilton. Jaffe made an announcement that the other parties would not be there as they claim they had not been properly served papers. Both Chris Ditton and Lowell Jaffe, although present, stated their attorney, Mike Kasper, had advised them not to speak at the hearing. Attorney Kasper was not present.
In a surprising twist, Jaffe offered a suggestion that the newsletter may have been paid for by the Avon Township Community Foundation, a not for profit organization that collects donation for the food pantry and not Avon Township. Jaffe seemed to suggest that it is acceptable to pay for a political mailing with funds contributed for the Avon Township food pantry. When reached for comment Avon Township Community Foundation President Wendy M. Warden stated, “No officer or Director of the Foundation to my knowledge has made any such payment. I feel confident in say this, as I have reviewed our accounts within the past 24 hours. Such activity would be inappropriate and not in keeping with our mission to support the most vulnerable residents in Avon Township.”
The hearing officer held the hearing on the points of the complaint as well as how the 4 respondents were served the papers regarding the complaint. Evidence was presented and the hearing officer will make a recommendation to the Election Board at the meeting set for Thursday April 4th.