Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Morrison case: I think I'll wait for the movie

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! (And don't say I didn't warn you.)

The Ohio Senate has delayed action on a vote to decide whether Jack Morrison should be dumped from the University of Akron Board of Trustees. The Akron lawyer has found an ally in Sen. Tim Grendell, the hard-right Chesterland Republican and teabagger who was once described by the Plain Dealer as a voice of the "lunatic fringe." Grendell stalled action to allow more time for "fact-checking". That, of course, makes teabagger sense. After all it has been only four months since a court convicted Morrison on a couple of ethics violations - a period in which everyone from the governor to the secretary of state to legislative Republicans and Democrats have asked him to find another line of public work.

Among them are Akron Sen. Tom Sawyer, a Democrat, and Cuyahoga Falls Sen. Kevin Coughlin, a Republican. Sawyer says Senate President Bill Harris, a Republican, would like to resolve the issue promptly, but he's also trying to avoid an "unseemly" trial in the Senate that would embarrass the legislative body. Such a trial, Sawyer said, would be unprecedented.

"Bill Harris is a man of decency and honor," Sawyer tells me, "and although we have disagreed politically on some issues, I know that he is personally trying to avoid an embarrassing trial in the Senate to retry a case that has already been tried. Morrison has been found guilty in a court of law."

At the same time, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is pushing ahead to remove Morrison from his seat on the Summit County Board of Elections. In short, Morrison is standing pat on his argument that the state his trampling on his right to due process. Brunner doesn't at all think so.

What began as a routine case that would have been concluded for a person of less political influence and wealth has now become a running spectator sport as he holds a bipartisan army at bay.


Anonymous said...

Expected. Senator Grendell is an Alex Arshinkoff ally. Wouldn't surprise me if Arshinkoff is not promising support for a Supreme Court seat. The length that Grendell went to outright lie about the fact-checking is amusing for someone who touts himself as "Good Government Grendell". Morrison and good government should never be in the same sentence. It is no wonder the Lake County Republican Party censured Grendell and he found open arms in the Summit County Republican Party.

Grumpy Abe said...

Why was Grendell censured? Wasn't aware of that.

Anonymous said...

Grendell was censured by the Lake County Republican Party in 2008 for endorsing the Democratic candidate in a local state House race. He made his own deal to avoid an opponent in the election for his state senate seat. Grendell attempted to run for AG in 2006 but got nowhere. His association with Alex Arshinkoff is rooted in a need to raise campaign cash for a statewide run. Unfortunately for him, Alex ain't the fundraiser he used to be. People still buy into the longwinded stories of yesteryear that Alex babbles about.

Grumpy Abe said...

Thanks. Grendell, I believe, also misspelled Ronald Reagan's name a couple of times in a letter to a newspaper. I encountered my first Grendel as the guy who kept attack ing Beowulf and finally lost.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the UA Board of Trustees more embarassed? And who in the first place advised them to allow Morrison's abstention, then to ask the Ethics Commission for a ruling? The same person who advised them to use DNA testing with new hires and promotions?

Grumpy Abe said...

Don't know the answers to any of your questions inasmuch as the gritty work of the trustees is done in committees before the measures come before the full board. The committee meetings, I'm told, are open to the public but are rarely covered by the media. As for as the board's embarrassment over Morrison, there's plenty of that to go around. - but not that you would know it.

Mencken said...

I'm wondering what is so attractive about the position that Morrison is willing to go to such lengths to keep it. And what is so attractive about Morrison that the board is willing to put up with so much bad press to keep him.

Professional courtesy..... honor among thieves?
Are they afraid of him?