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by Sharon Rondeau

(Apr. 5, 2012) — The Post & Email had reported on an Ohio case which challenged the eligibility of a candidate for Brown County Sheriff.   Dwayne Wenninger had won election to the position in 2000 after he submitted sworn affidavits that he met all of the criteria, one of which was the completion of at least two years of post-secondary education.

Ohio law prohibits challenges to qualifications of candidates unless the protestor is registered with the same political party as the person he is challenging.  Wenninger was a registered Republican and the challenger, Dennis Varnau, was a registered Independent.  He challenged Wenninger based on Wenninger’s lack of the educational requirement, contending that the law limiting challenges to the same political party was unconstitutional.

During Wenninger’s campaign for a second term as sheriff in 2004, the educational requirements were legislatively lowered in an emergency bill such that they accommodated Wenninger’s training certificate rather than the previously-required two years of post-secondary education.  A protest filed by another Republican was then withdrawn.

In 2009, Varnau challenged Wenninger’s holding of the office with a Quo Warranto petition based on Wenninger’s failure to possess a valid Ohio Peace Officer Certificate after he lost it by operation of law during his first term in office.  The Appeals Court stated that the loss of any qualifications during Wenninger’s two prior terms was “moot” because Wenninger had already held the office, stating:  “A quo warranto claim must be timely directed to challenge a current term of office rather than an expired one.”  The court also stated that “[t]he focus must remain on Wenninger’s eligibility to run for and hold the office of sheriff for the present term, not for the previous terms that have already expired.”

Varnau brought his case to the Ohio Supreme Court, which upheld the Appeals Court’s denial of the Quo Warranto against Wenninger, stating that Varnau should have filed the action in 2000 when Wenninger first became a candidate.  Varnau did not move to Ohio until 2003.

Varnau filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Ohio Supreme Court which was denied on April 4, 2012.

Of the decision, Varnau commented:

It is absolutely preposterous that our highest State Court did not even read the case, yet held against me after creating “facts” that were not in the record.  The Court held that I should have done something when I was not even a resident in the county for three more years.

With over four years and approximately $50K spent, the courts have said all along I had a future quo warranto available, and disposed of my case in the lower courts along the way twice based upon that reasoning.  In the end, on the second appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, not only did the Court say that I did not have a quo warranto, but that I should have brought the case in 2001 when I was still in Kansas and Illinois with my wife in the Air Force.  We did not come to Brown County until December 4, 2003.  Furthermore, the Court said that I could have brought the case in 2004, but that is not true either, for I did not have standing to bring the case until I lost the election and the results were certified on November 25, 2008.

Essentially, my due process and equal protection rights under both Constitutions have been ignored from beginning to end, at my expense, with them intentionally baiting me onward unnecessarily all the way through the process, using their positions of authority to criminally deny me my constitutional rights while violating their oaths of office.  It is amazing to me how blatant and in-your-face the highest Court in Ohio can just carte blanc ignore over a century of their own case law precedent to toss my case without even reading it.  There is essentially no law anymore, but only politics controlling what those in the positions of trust, power, and authority concoct as “their own law.”

“The Court completely eliminated the requirement of any prior knowledge, literally ignoring centuries of case law precedent, in order to apply the equitable remedy of ‘laches’ in my case.  The justices created fictitious facts not present anywhere in the record.”  Varnau also stated that the Supreme Court’s decision “to deny me my federal constitutional rights under the federal criminal laws that protect individual personal constitutional rights” is definitely of “a criminal nature, well beyond any reasonable suspicion circumstantially, with no remaining avenue of recourse available to pursue a ‘legal’ correction or fix.”  “Society will surely crumble under the weight of corrupt judges creating their own extraneous ‘law’ from the bench by not even following their own case law precedent,” Varnau said.




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