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Pappas Cleared Of Any Wrongdoing In Board of Elections Case

Ohio's Secretary of State has scuttled a move by Democrats on the Hamilton County Board of Elections to refer Anderson Township Trustee Andrew Pappas for a possible criminal investigation.

In October, the four elections board members voted 2-2 along party lines on whether Pappas, a Republican, told the truth last summer about how he gathered signatures on a petition to repeal a sales tax increase. The Democrats said they believed Pappas did not tell the truth.

Pappas wrote a letter to the board saying turning in a petition where he had not witnessed the signatures was an innocent mistake on his part and apologized.

But the two Democrats on the board wanted to send the case to the prosecutor, even though they agreed with the two Republicans that Pappas would never be charged with any crime.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, who next week will become Ohio's new lieutenant governor, waited until early January before sending a letter to the board saying they should accept Pappas' apology and move on.

The sales tax hike targeted by the petition was withdrawn by the two Democratic county commissioners who proposed it and never appeared on the ballot.

The case began when some Anderson Township Democrats filed a complaint with the elections board accusing Pappas of not witnessing some of the signatures on his petitions, as required by law.

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Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.