Several online readers commenting about our stories on the latest controversy involving Columbiana County Recorder Craig Brown have called for his resignation.
Even County Commissioner Mike Halleck, a Republican, stated that if Brown were in his party he would encourage him to resign.
Others have indicated that county commissioners should "fire" Brown. But firing him is not something commissioners have the authority to do. Brown does not work for, nor does he answer to, commissioners on anything but budgetary matters. Therefore they cannot discipline or fire him. Craig Brown works for you - the taxpayers and voters of Columbiana County.
Brown hasn't denied the accusations of inappropriate behavior leveled this time by a former office worker, although he disputes how many incidents occurred.
This isn't the first time Brown has been taken to task for behavior some believe crosses the line. The mother of a Johnny Appleseed Queen contestant wrote a letter to the Lisbon Chamber of Commerce criticizing questionable comments he made in front of young pageant participants back in 2010. At that point Brown denied the accusations and several pageant participants came to his defense. Ironically, one of his defenders from the pageant ordeal was the daughter of the woman who has brought the accusations this time.
With the latest revelation, several women have come out of the woodwork to anonymously hint they have been victims of or have witnessed Brown displaying similar behavior in their presence. So far, however, none of these accusers have agreed to go on the record with their alleged stories.
So what can be done about Craig Brown? Former Commissioner Penny Traina pointed out that "no elected official works for the board of county commissioners. They are elected, and their boss is the taxpayers." Voters will ultimately decide if Brown's behavior is acceptable for an elected official.
So, Columbiana County voters, it is up to you. The decision as to whether a publicly elected official should remain in office is up to the voters, as it should be, and voters will have two chances to be heard. First, is the Democratic primary election on March 6 and, if Brown wins, the Nov. 6 general election, when all voters will have a say.
The choice is up to you.