Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Elections worker quits amid probe

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A Butler County Board of Elections employee resigned Monday, two business days after he was questioned in conjunction with a state probe of alleged coerced political contributions.

        Phil Morrical, a special assistant to the board, walked into the office and resigned, said Bob Mosketti, the board's director. Mr. Mosketti said Mr. Morrical's letter of resignation provided no reason for his action.

        Mr. Morrical, who didn't return a telephone call seeking comment Monday, was questioned by representatives of the Ohio secretary of state's office Thursday, Mr. Mosketti said.

        The secretary of state's office has been investigating allegations that Brent Dixon, another special assistant to the board, was threatened with termination if he didn't give nearly all of his $6,000 annual salary to the county's Democratic Party, which appointed him to his position. Mr. Morrical also was appointed to his position by the county's Democratic Party.

        Mr. Dixon provided the secretary of state with a tape recording of the March 1 meeting where the alleged coercion occurred. Mr. Dixon and his family had been longtime Democrats and sent political shock waves through the county when the Dixon clan switched party affiliations.


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