Lucas Served With Notice of Challenge on Eligibility

Attorney Mark E. Landers is challenging David Lucas’ right to hold the office of Belmont County sheriff in action filed with the Ohio Supreme Court.

Lucas, however, said he intends to keep doing the job county voters elected him to do.

Landers filed a quo warranto action with the high court on Feb. 8. The action seeks the “immediate removal of the respondent (Lucas) from the office of Belmont County Sheriff and a declaration that Relator (Dick Flanagan) is entitled to the immediate possession of that office.”

Lucas, a Republican, defeated Democrat candidate Dick Flanagan during the November general election and has been serving as sheriff since Jan. 7. The action states that Flanagan believes Lucas failed to meet the requirements for the office specified in Ohio Revised Code.

The code states a candidate for sheriff must have been employed as a law enforcement officer within the past four years to hold the job. Lucas listed his date of retirement on his certification for candidacy as Oct. 31, 2007 – a little more than five years prior to the general election. After Oct. 31, 2007, Lucas is listed as being employed by the department from 2007 until present as a reserve officer.

This information was included in the qualification packet Judge Jennifer Sargus received and subsequently approved. The Belmont County Board of Elections already denied a challenge of Lucas’ eligibility for the office.

“I’m doing my job. I’m doing what the people elected me for,” Lucas said Monday. “I was certified by the judge and the elections board, and the voters of Belmont County elected me as sheriff of Belmont County, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

“The rest will be handled in court,” he added.

Lucas was appointed as a reserve officer with the sheriff’s department on his retirement date. He previously held a part-time job with the Barnesville Police Department from 1978-1981.

The court action also states that Lucas had a residence in Charlotte County, Fla., that was not listed in his qualification packet for candidacy. Charlotte County records show that on June 30, 2010, a Robert and Sharon Macleod signed over the deed to their property to a David M. and Barbara A. Lucas.