A Republican ward leader, claiming internal party shenanigans, has petitioned the GOP State Committee to overturn a vote Wednesday that allowed Michael Meehan to retain control over the city party.

Kevin Kelly, leader of the 22d Ward in West Mount Airy, on Friday handed the 162-page petition to Pennsylvania Republican Chairman Robert Gleason at the state committee's summer meeting in Hershey, according to Kelly's attorney.

At a raucous city Republican Party meeting Wednesday night, ward leaders were asked to vote on either retaining Vito F. Canuso Jr. as city chairman or elevating Al Schmidt to the position. Though Canuso is chairman, Meehan is widely acknowledged as head of the party.

The vote was 42-12 to keep Canuso. But 14 ward leaders were not admitted or allowed to vote.

Kelly's petition, crafted by attorney J. Matthew Wolfe, says the election certifications of several ward leaders who did vote were being challenged and thus they should not have been allowed to vote.

If they were excluded and the ward leaders barred were included, the vote would have been 21-18 for Schmidt, according to Kelly's challenge.

The petition is before the state party's Credentials Committee, Wolfe said.

Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.