Akron, Ohio Beacon Journal staff writer Julie Wallace reports. Excerpt:
A Summit County Board of Elections employee quizzed as part of a probe into a candidate’s missing petitions failed two polygraph tests after admitting using drugs and alcohol before the tests, law enforcement officials said.
Several sources familiar with the investigation identified the employee — who was not named in a news release issued Tuesday by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office — as Deputy Director John Schmidt, a Democrat who holds the No. 2 position in the board’s office.
Schmidt declined to comment. His lawyer, Carmen Roberto, said Schmidt did not fail the polygraphs; he said the results were inconclusive on both tests.
Sheriff Drew Alexander, a Republican, said 11 full-time employees were asked to submit to lie-detector tests in the investigation into the June disappearance of election petitions belonging to Akron City Councilman Joe Finley, D-2. Finley is a maverick often at odds with his party’s local leaders.
Eight of those 11 full-time employees easily passed the polygraph.
Three others were tested twice. Two of them had results that initially were labeled inconclusive but later were determined by polygraph examiner Bill Evans to be truthful.
The third employee also underwent two voluntary tests — showing up and acknowledging to Evans that he had used marijuana and alcohol prior to the appointments, Alexander said.
Alexander, who declined to confirm that the employee is Schmidt, said no charge would be filed against the employee over his admitted drug use because the tests were voluntary.
“Both times, he failed miserably at over $500 a pop,” Alexander said. “That’s enough polygraph examinations. I have no confidence that he’d come in and take a third or fourth and not try to beat it.”
Although it is not mentioned in this article, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office’s news release accuses the employee who “failed” the test of having employed countermeasures:
TO DATE ELEVEN FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN ASKED AND VOLUNTARILY SUBMITTED TO POLYGRAPHS. TWO EMPLOYEES WERE POLYGRAPHED TWICE. EIGHT EMPLOYEES POLYGRAPHED WERE CONSIDERED NON-DECEPTIVE. THE RESULTS OF THE POLYGRAPHS OF TWO EMPLOYEES WERE INCONCLUSIVE BUT THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINER ULTIMATELY CONCLUDED THE EMPLOYEES WERE TRUTHFUL AND COOPERATIVE. IN THE OPINION OF THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINER, THE REMAINING EMPLOYEE WHO WAS TESTED TWICE EMPLOYED COUNTER MEASURES TO PURPOSELY SUBVERT THE POLYGRAPH TEST PROCESS. THE EMPLOYEE ADMITTED IN BOTH PRETEST INTERVIEWS TO USING ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES INCLUDING MARIJUANA AND CONSUMING ALOCOHOL WITHIN A TIME PERIOD PRIOR TO THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINATIONS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN CRITICAL TO OBTAINING CONCLUSIVE POLYGRAPH RESULTS. IN THE OPINION OF THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINER THIS INDIVIDUAL WAS NOT TRYING TO HELP THE INVESTIGATION BUT TRYING TO IMPEDE IT BECAUSE THE EMPLOYEE KNEW THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINATIONS AND HAD PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THE DATES AND TIMES THAT THE TESTS WOULD BE ADMINISTERED.