Putnam elections board at odds over directors

OTTAWA — The Putnam County Board of Elections has asked Secretary of State Jon Husted to settle a dispute over the appointment of a deputy director.

The board vote 2-to-2 on Tuesday on the reappointment of Shelly Burkhart, a Republican, to the position of deputy director.

Board member Anthony Wobler said it is worth noting that both of the board’s Democrats voted in favor of keeping Burkhart. He said both the Republican members, Tom Jerwers and Virginia Price, want Burkhart replaced.

Price also voted against the reappointment of Karen Lammers, a Democrat, as board director. Lammers has held the position since October 2008.

Burkhart was appointed in January 2009.

Wobler called the opposition votes a “witch hunt.”

Price was appointed to the board on March 1 by Husted as part of the routine two-year reorganization of the board. Price, a former board director, was fired in October 2008. She then sued the board and the county for wrongful termination, and settled out of court.

Both Price and Jerwers were contacted by The Courier Tuesday afternoon, but said the discussion was held in executive session and refused public comment.

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