Jon Stainbrook, the lightning-rod chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, is a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Toledo - a high point in the life any political operative.
But it turns out he's going to miss it.
Stainbrook announced, with obvious disappointment Monday, that he has been subpoenaed to testify in a whistle-blower case emanating from the Lucas County Board of Elections.
"I'm devastated," said Stainbrook. "I was just totally set to do this." He had airline reservations for Sunday night and planned to stay at the Mainsail Suites Hotel with the rest of the Ohio delegation.
He got the subpoena Friday.
Stainbrook must be available in Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday in case he is needed to testify in front of the Ohio State Personnel Board of Review. The case centers on two former elections board employees, both of them Republicans, who were fired by the board with Stainbrook's support in August, 2011.
Former board workers Kelly Mettler and Dennis Lange claim they were fired in retaliation for investigating instances of Stainbrook supporters allegedly voting in precincts where they did not live. The alleged investigations occurred during a tumultuous contest for party chairman in 2010.
Stainbrook has denied firing the two as retaliation, and said he wanted the opportunity to testify to that point in front of the state employees review board - not realizing it would happen in the middle of the Republican convention in Tampa.Stainbrook said the Mitt Romney forces assured him there are still enough Romney delegate votes to guarantee the former Massachusetts governor the party's nomination to be on the ballot against Democratic President Barack Obama on Nov. 6.