The Democrats on the Hamilton County Board of Elections have asked the Ohio Secretary of State and Ohio Attorney general to investigate whether county prosecutor Joe Deters voted improperly in the November 2012 election.
Democrats Tim Burke, the board of elections chairman, and board member Caleb Faux asked for the investigation after the two Republicans on the board of elections, Alex Triantafilou and Chip Gerhardt, refused to allow the matter to be discussed at a board of elections meeting.
Deters, a Republican, voted from his Symmes Township address in November 2012 four months after he and his wife Missy separated and he was living in a downtown condo.
Missy Deters recently filed for divorce, stating in her divorce papers that her husband moved out in July 2012.
Deters, in a recent interview with WVXU, insisted he did nothing wrong.
“The issue in these kinds of cases is where you intended to return; and, after I left our home, I always intended to return,’’ Deters said.
Deters said he and his wife had counseling sessions and he had hoped they could get back together again.
Deters said that after his wife hired a divorce lawyer earlier this year, he realized he was not returning to the Symmes Township home and changed his address with the board of elections.
Still, Burke and Faux say, an investigation of some kind is warranted.
“Under the circumstances, particularly given the instructions we’ve previously received from the secretary of state’s office about investigating appearances of voter impropriety, and the earlier opinion from the county prosecutor’s office, I do not believe it is appropriate to simply ignore this issue,’’ Burke wrote in a letter this morning to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Burke said he recognizes that “the issues in a divorce proceeding are extremely personal and may be subject to factual dispute.” But he said that he and Faux want the matter looked into “to determine the facts and what, if any, additional action is appropriate.”
In an e-mail to elections director Amy Searcy and the board members, Triantafilou said raising the Deters issue is “a stunt designed to make this a matter of public discussion” and is mean to “embarrass and improperly publicly chastise a county elected official for political gain during his divorce proceeding.”
Triantafilou said he and Gerhardt would not agree to have the matter discussed at the board of elections. That, Burke said, is why he sent a letter to Husted and DeWine, both Republicans, asking them to act.
Deters told WVXU he voted in the November 5 election from his downtown address.
“I fully complied with the law,’’ said Deters, whose office has prosecuted voter fraud cases over the past year.
There is no response yet from the offices of Husted and DeWine.