Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mayoral recall: Trial by mire

WARNER MENDENHALL'S grim recall army against Mayor Plusquellic is continuing to obsess.  The latest gambit in its ongoing trial by mire is to force the city to release some records, most of which have already been issued except for a redaction of  privileged attorney-client material.  Such "editing" was unanimously upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in another case earlier this week. 

A key figure in this farcical matter is Bob Smith, a former Akron resident, former Hudson resident and now a Chagrin Falls resident who has been a tormentor of  City Hall since the days of Simon Perkins, Akron's founder.  Maybe even earlier than that.  Got that? An expatriate now living in another town is in the vanguard of the crusade to throw out the mayor of Akron.  Couldn't we at least expect it to be reciprocal with Chagrin Falls?  In attempting to build a case against Plusquellic over the years, Smith has nibbled at every public document with the mayor's name on it and cost the city tens of thousand of dollars in city-worker hours to turn up whatever information that he supposed might help his cause.   Less obsessive people  devote some of their leisure hours to reading good books or scavenging for unusual shells at the seashore.  I would donate the first dollar to a counter-movement to buy him some interesting reading material  that would not require the labor of  city employes.  

It would seem to me that Mendenhall, a lawyer himself, would know something about attorney-client privilege and doubtless would be among the first to squeal if his were the privilege that was being gored.  Or maybe not.  With his own hours devoted to ridding the city of its mayor I doubt he thinks very much about his private law practice these days. There are many more signatures to be sought for the recall petitions while possibly   spending  some time hunting for a loan to pay off his $169,000 tax lien to the IRS.

I tell you, life can get complicated at times.

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