Investigator: Elections board to discuss senator's residency

5:44 PM, Sep 27, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- State Senator Shirley Smith's residency is expected to be discussed at this Thursday's meeting of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

"I am treating it seriously enough that I am going to present it to the board. I do think the board of elections will be interested in hearing and seeing your story," said the board's director Jane Platten.

Channel 3 News's hidden cameras caught Smith living in a newer home in South Euclid, outside District 21, the district she is required to live in and to represent.

Smith eventually came clean about living in South Euclid after sidestepping the issue in an interrview with the Investigator Tom Meyer.  "Do I live there? Umm, yes I do," Smith said.

Calls to the leadership of the Ohio Senate have not been returned.

The chairman of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party called Smith a carpetbagger in reverse. Chairman Rob Frost said instead of moving in to District 21 to run for office, the senator moved out.

"Regardless of how the law ends up coming down on this, apparently she can't wait to get out of that area (Woodworth Avenue in Cleveland),and can't wait to live somewhere else," Frost said.

If the county board of elections decides to investigate the residency issue and they wind up in a tie vote about what to do, the tiebreaker would go to Secretary of State John Husted.

A couple of years ago, Husted was a state lawmaker and his residency came under investigation. The Ohio Supreme Court eventually cleared Husted of any wrongdoing.

Smith accused Meyer and Channel 3 News of failing to report on issues and legislation she's supported over the years as an Ohio lawmaker.

"I don't recall you coming down to talk about those issues which are important to the people in my district," Smith said.

She called her residency Channel 3's issue.


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