Percy Squire's attorney said he is disappointed the board viewed his request as 'tit-for-tat.'
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Mahoning County Board of Elections refused today to require that family members of Mayor George McKelvey attend a hearing to determine if mayoral candidate Percy Squire is a Youngstown resident and can run against McKelvey in November.
Squire's lawyer had requested subpoenas for McKelvey's wife and children after McKelvey's attorney had requested subpoenas for Squire's family.
"The board does not consider 'tit-for-tat' to be a responsible basis for issuing subpoenas," wrote board chairman Mark E. Munroe in a morning fax to Donald J. McTigue of Columbus, Squire's attorney.
A hearing to determine Squire's residency will be held before the board Tuesday. Squire, who is running as an independent, has a home and office in Columbus. He also owns a house in Youngstown.
McTigue balked at the suggestion that his request was made "tit-for-tat."
"I have acknowledged that it appears to be tit-for-tat; ... however, it is not retaliatory. There are legal reasons for the request."
McTigue said family members were requested to speak to the issue of the mayor's credibility.
Subpoenas denied: Also denied were requests to subpoena McKelvey's lawyer Edwin Romero and his wife, Judge Cheryl Waite of the Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals. The couple sold a Kiwatha Road home to Squire and his wife, Franklin County Juvenile Judge Carole Squire, in 1995.
Romero had recently issued subpoenas to Squire, his wife, his children and his parents, who live in the Youngstown home.
Romero said he was not surprised by the board's ruling today.
"I think it was an appropriate response," he said. "Any judge would have done the same thing. ... I think it's important to get to the heart of the matter."
McTigue defended his client, saying, "We're not trying to create a controversy."
"The protest was filed by Mayor McKelvey," he said. "The protest was without merit."
Election: Squire is the only challenger to McKelvey, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 election. He admits he does not live in Youngstown but says he is a resident here and is thus eligible to run for the seat.
Subpoenas have also been issued for Squire's income tax records in Columbus and Youngstown.