COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party and the Stark County Democratic Party released the following joint statement today calling on Stark County Commissioner Tom Bernabei to resign from his seat following the Ohio Supreme Court ruling allowing him retain his job as commissioner while running as an Independent candidate for the Canton mayoral race:
“We are disappointed by today’s ruling,” stated Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “As even the court said, Commissioner Bernabei’s case–sleeping on a cot in an empty building*–“may test the limits of what can constitute a residence.” This is an understatement to say the least.”
“Commissioner Bernabei reached the office of County Commissioner on the strength of his Democratic Party affiliation and the hard work of Canton and Stark County Democrats,” said Phil G. Giavasis, Chairman of the Stark County Democratic Party. “If he is now as Independent as he claims, he should do the right thing and resign as commissioner in order to run for Mayor. Collecting tax dollars as a Democratic County Commissioner while jumping offices to run as a so-called Independent is a deep disservice to the Democrats who worked hard to elect him and the taxpayers who pay his salary.”
* although he left his wife and dog at his other home, Bernabei “took with him a bunk bed (with frame, mattress, sheets, blankets, and pillows), a lamp, a lounge chair, two books, three or four suits with ties, three or four dress shirts, dress shoes, a belt, socks, underwear, blue jeans, shorts, t-shirts, a sweatshirt, tennis shoes, a razor, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste, towels, a card table with one or two folding chairs, an iPod/phone charger, a laptop and printer, bananas, milk, Cheerios, Diet Pepsi, rum, vitamins, Metamucil, Lipitor, Aspirin, Advil, a large duffel bag, plastic cups, and trash bags.