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.