ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Attorney Mark E. Landers filed a quo warranto action on Feb. 8 in Ohio Supreme Court against Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas.
Now listed as case no. 13-0239, the action seeks the "immediate removal of the respondent (Lucas) from the office of Belmont County Sheriff and a declaration that Relator (Dick Flanagan) is entitled to the immediate possession of that office."
Lucas, a Republican, defeated Democratic candidate Dick Flanagan during the November general election and has been serving as sheriff since his official installation to the office last month.
Quo warrantos are "issued against a person or corporation for usurpation, misuse, or abuse of public office or corporate office or franchise."
The action states that Lucas was sworn into office Jan. 7, notwithstanding the fact that Flanagan believes he doesn't meet the requirements specified in Ohio Revised Code 311.01
The main issue in Flannagan's case is that of Lucas' qualifications to hold the office of sheriff.
In citing 311.01, it's stated that a qualified candidate:
Five years prior to the qualification date would be Dec. 7, 2006. Lucas' official retirement from the sheriff's office was on Oct. 31, 2007.
After that, Lucas is listed as being employed by BCSO from 2007 until present as a reserve officer.
This was included in the qualification packet that Judge Jennifer Sargus' received and subsequently signed off on, giving her report back to the Belmont County Board of Elections.
Lucas has repeatedly stated his qualifications were valid, including releasing this statement:
"This issue was addressed through the election board in the past. My qualifications were certified by the judge and the election board. The people of Belmont County elected me to do a job and I'm going to do that job."
Lucas was appointed as a reserve officer, effective Oct. 31, 2007, easily distinguishable on paperwork sent from former sheriff Fred Thompson's office to Judge Sargus.
The appointment history lists that position, along with Lucas' full-time position with the BCSO and his part-time job with the Barnesville Police Department from 1978-1981. Those three positions are the only ones listed on his official work history that was submitted for qualification certification.
However, on the listing for reserve officer, a check mark was next to special, not full-time, on appointment status.
Court documents show that Lucas was official served the action on Feb. 14.
The quo warranto also states that Lucas had a residence in Charlotte County, Florida that was not listed on his qualification packet that was submitted with his candidacy.
The Charlotte County official records search website shows that on June 30, 2010, a Robert and Sharon Macleod signed over the dead to their property to a David M. and Barbara A. Lucas.
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com