Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser (left) and Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro.

Democratic leader’s comments rile Butler County prosecutor

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Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro told the Journal-News last month the county GOP was being opportunistic in calling for Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford’s resignation in the days following his arrest on suspicion of operating a vehicle while impaired and the improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle.

“We can’t help but notice the opportunism by the very same Republicans to do what they utterly failed to achieve in last year’s primary by using a process they control from the prosecutor’s office down to the sheriff,” Bucaro previously told the Journal-News.

In a letter to Bucaro, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser wrote: “it is truly abhorrent to suggest … that political engineering occurs though a process controlled beginning with my office.”

RELATED: Butler County GOP asks Wes Retherford to resign

Gmoser, who provided the letter to this news outlet, said Bucaro’s statement “is a direct assault on my professional and prosecutorial integrity.”

The Journal-News reached out to Bucaro, but she declined to comment on Gmoser’s letter.

Gmoser wrote that he took no part in the primary endorsement, and did not contribute to Retherford’s campaign, nor to the campaign of his opponent, former state lawmaker Courtney Combs.

According to campaign finance records reviewed by the Journal-News:

  • The Butler County prosecutor has self-funded his campaigns for election since he was appointed to the position in 2011

  • Gmoser made three political contributions in 2016: to the Butler County Republican Party and to the campaigns for Ohio Rep. Margy Conditt, R-Liberty Twp., and Ohio Auditor Dave Yost
  • In the past he’s made other political contributions, including to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones and other county officeholders, but Conditt is the only state legislature Gmoser has contributed to since his appointment in 2011
  • Additionally, Gmoser could not vote in the 2016 primary GOP endorsement process because he is not a member of the Butler County Republican Party Central Committee.

    Combs won the endorsement from the Butler County Republican Party but lost in the primary to Retherford.

    “Nothing in your past experience with my office or me should have encouraged your opinion,” Gmoser wrote to Bucaro.

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