December 1, 2011
One of the two co-directors of the Delaware County Board of Elections has been fired.
The four-member board that oversees the county’s election office on Wednesday voted unanimously to dismiss Democratic Board of Elections Director Brian Mumford.
Board members declined to say exactly what led to the decision, citing the fact that the discussion was held during a private, closed-door meeting. By state law, the election board director serves at the discretion of the board. The director post is not a publicly elected position.
Election board members did say, however, that the termination was not related to the county’s election process itself.
“There was no problem created by Brian, or anyone else for that matter that I am aware of that, that endangered the election process and led to this. It was simply a matter of … Brian is not what we needed in a director,” board member Jeff Burkam said.
“We are sad about that and I know Brian is too,” he added.
Mumford, who had been on administrative leave since late last month, also declined to discuss the reason for his firing. He directed all inquires to his attorney, Emily Louise, who did not return calls seeking comment.
Mumford had held the county election board’s Democratic Party representative to the director position since 2008. The office rotates the director title between a Democrat and Republic representative every two years, with the counterpart position currently held by Republican Karla Herron serving as deputy director.
The four-member board that made the decision to fire Mumford is comprised of half Democrats and half Republicans. To maintain its equal split of power among the two political parties, upon terminating Mumford, Burkam, a Republican, agreed to step down as the board chair and hand that title over to Democratic board member Ed Helvey.
Helvey said the board is expected to meet next week to discuss whether it will appoint an interim director as well as when it will begin seeking Mumford’s replacement. The position pays about $70,000 a year. Qualified candidates must be registered Democrats who live within the county.