One of the trustee's opponents says he will file a counterclaim.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
BOARDMAN --Boardman trustee John Cox filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission against challenger Samuel M. Moffie, saying Moffie made false statements about a questionable $12,000 loan Cox accepted in 1996 as coming from organized crime.
"He's stooped to a new low in Boardman politics by making wild accusations that are completely unsubstantiated and outright lies," Cox said about Moffie.
The elections commission was to hear Cox's complaint at a hearing in Columbus today.
In response, Moffie said Cox's complaint is frivolous, and he plans to file a complaint today with the elections commission about the loan's origin.
During a Friday news conference, Moffie discussed the $12,000 loan saying, "I believe it came from the Mafia and Lennie Strollo," the former head of the local mob.
"This man's malicious lies that ostensibly tie me to corrupt figures have not only affected my political career, but my professional career, my personal reputation and my family," Cox said.
Finance report: Cox has admitted he filed a campaign expense report in 1996 that incorrectly states he lent $12,300 to his campaign committee. He then filed an incorrect amended report in 1997 saying the money came from his son, a medical student at the time.
After being confronted with the reports by The Vindicator based on information provided to the newspaper by Moffie, Cox acknowledged he actually got the money from John Ridel, a local businessman who was appointed in 1990 by trustees, including Cox, to the township's civil service commission.
Moffie said Cox filed a false affidavit about his allegations saying that because he prefaced his statements with "I believe," he was not stating facts. In Cox's affidavit, he wrote that Moffie "stated that I had accepted $12,000 from the mob."
Board to investigate: The Mahoning County Board of Elections plans to investigate the $12,000 loan and requested Cox file an amended campaign report to show its true origin, which he did Friday.
The board is expected to forward the matter to the elections commission. But Moffie said because he was going to Columbus today, he would file a citizens' complaint about the loan himself.
"In my opinion, obvious wrongdoings by elected and appointed officials are talked about in this community and never acted upon," he said.
Cox, who has served as a trustee for 12 years, and Moffie are among six candidates running Tuesday for two seats on the board.