Steinhelfer Files with Supreme Court Over City Initiative


Earlier this week Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, resolved the tie votes taken by the Logan County Board of Elections following a hearing concerning the protest of an initiative petition.

Based on Secretary LaRose’s decision to overrule the protest, the proposed ordinance that was initiated by petition will be on the November 7th General Election ballot in the City of Bellefontaine…Until now.

Thursday, Tim Steinhelfer, Attorney for a group of Bellefontaine citizens filed a complaint in the Ohio Supreme Court. Below are the first few lines of the over 240-page filing: (To see the complete filing click HERE)

1. This is an original action in mandamus within this Court’s constitutional authority and brought properly as an expedited election matter pursuant to Sup.Ct.Prac.R. 12.08.
2. This action involves a Bellefontaine municipal initiative petition to regulate how people dress in public spearheaded by extremist community outsiders to bankrupt the City of Bellefontaine in endless First Amendment litigation in which the city would stand little chance of success.
3. This Court has original jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the Ohio Constitution and R.C. 2731.02.
4. Relators are entitled to the requested writ of mandamus because they have no recourse in the ordinary course of law, the November 7, 2023 election being less than sixty days away.
5. This Complaint is supported by the affidavits of the Relators, attached hereto as “Exhibits 3-7.”

6. These allegations are presented in chronological order in the interests of clarity.
7. On the evening of December 2, 2022, a Christmas parade was held along Main Street in the city of Bellefontaine. The parade was sponsored by a non-profit foundation of Bellefontaine small business owners.
8. The City of Bellefontaine took no state actions regarding the parade other than issuing the permit and maintaining the peace.
9. The Christmas parade was attended by thousands of Bellefontaine residents and tourists who came to Bellefontaine’s Main Street to watch dozens of holiday-themed floats and walking krewes sponsored by community businesses and nonprofits.
10. The Christmas parade resulted in increased revenue for local small businesses and positive press coverage.

There are more than 70 line items in the complaint.

LaRose and the Logan County Board of Elections now must respond to the complaint by Monday afternoon.

Stay tuned for more information as this story unfolds.