Huber candidate claims complaint ‘politically motivated’

Resident Alexander Black Jr. filed a complaint Oct. 1 with the Ohio Elections Commission against Otto, alleging Otto failed to report certain expenditures on his pre- and post-primary Ohio campaign finance reports.

“In my opinion, this is petty and just 100 percent political,” Otto said. “It has nothing to do with how the city is served or how I may serve the city in the future. It’s purely political. It’s proven by Mr. Black’s statement in the Dayton Daily.”

Black Jr.’s complaint dealt with two separate issues — an electronic newsletter produced by Jeff LaFollette that was sponsored by Otto as well as Otto’s name appearing on a “Team Huber” banner that included fellow candidate Richard Shaw’s disclaimer statement but not one from Otto.

Otto said there was no cost for the newsletter, and the banner design and materials were not paid for from “Citizens for Glenn Otto,” but by Shaw. Otto also attached letters from LaFollette and Shaw to his response.

“This campaign season … has been contentious,” Otto wrote in his response. “Many of the incumbents have been in office for a very long time, and the other challengers and I have been very open and active throughout the community, and have received a lot of support.”

At the same time, Black Jr. filed complaints against Otto and Shaw claiming they violated a city ordinance by using the “city’s logo on their respective campaign websites without permission from the city to do so.”

City attorney Alan Schaeffer determined earlier this week that Otto and Shaw are in violation of a city ordinance by using the city logo on their campaign websites.

Otto and Shaw have said they committed no wrongdoing, they have not and will not make any changes to their campaign websites, and the matter is closed in their eyes.

“That sends a clear message to the community that you don’t intend to comply with the rules,” Black Jr. said. “There are a lot of laws I don’t think are appropriate, but we have to comply with them.”

Black Jr. said the initiative to file formal complaints against Otto and Shaw started last month after Shaw alleged unethical and illegal conduct against his opponent, Lu Dale, related to campaign material.

“It’s tit for tat,” said Black Jr., who is vice chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board. “This all started with an action that was really politically motivated.”

Otto and incumbent Jan Vargo will square off for an at-large seat Nov. 3 after they finished 1-2 in the primary in May. Shaw is opposing incumbent Dale for the Ward 1 seat.