Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
By William Kincaid
Hoying appointed to fill vacant seat
Mercer County Board of Elections
Former Mercer County ESC board member Melissa Hoying was appointed this week to fill the vacancy of board member Matt Fullenkamp, who resigned Jan. 20.
ESC President Pete Hayes said board members unanimously approved the appointment of Hoying, 1806 Philothea Road, Fort Recovery, who was selected over two other candidates.
According to ESC Superintendent Andy Smith, Hoying, 40, will hold the temporary position until the end of December. Voters will decide in November's Primary Election who will serve the remainder of Matt Fullenkamp's unexpired term. Fullenkamp was elected to the four-year term in November 2007.
Asked why she was interested in the position, Hoying told the newspaper she simply wanted the opportunity to serve again.
Hoying was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former ESC board member Janice Fiely earlier in the decade.
In the November 2007 election, Hoying was forced to run as a write-in candidate after failing to meet the requirements of the Mercer County Board of Elections because only 46 of 54 signatures on her petition were deemed valid and a minimum of 50 were required.
She was defeated in that election by Matt Fullenkamp, the husband of former elections board deputy director Denise Fullenkamp.
At the time, Hoying questioned the integrity of the Mercer County Board of Elections' staff and accused Denise Fullenkamp, who reviewed some of Hoying's petition, of conflict of interest.
Hoying had submitted her signed petition to Fullenkamp prior to the deadline and said she was assured that Fullenkamp would validate her signed petition and call her back.
However, Hoying said she never received a phone call from Fullenkamp and later learned there was a problem with her petition from Andy Smith, but it was too late.
No action resulted from Hoying's concerns.
Matt Fullenkamp is currently embroiled in his own legal flap.
In late October 2009, he was indicted by grand jurors on one count of tampering with records, a third-degree felony, and one count of theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.
The next month, Fullenkamp pleaded not guilty to the charges during the initial appearance/arraignment before Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Ingraham.
Fullenkamp reportedly came to the board of elections office Oct. 8 and made a public records request to review 10 specific items, including voter registration lists and retention schedules. He allegedly left with the records when office personnel became involved with other matters.
Deputies stopped Fullenkamp as he was attempting to drive away from the courthouse and recovered all the records, some of which were original documents.
The felony charge, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, alleges that Fullenkamp removed the records knowing that an official proceeding or investigation was in progress or likely to be instituted. The indictment states the action was taken to impair the value or availability of the records as evidence in such a proceeding.
Denise Fullenkamp was fired from the board of elections in August due to discrepancies with canceled voting registrations.
The misdemeanor charge, which carries a possible six months in jail sentence and a $1,000 fine, alleges he deprived the board of election of records valued at less than $500.
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