Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Morrison Saga lingers on and on and on...

THE BEACON JOURNAL'S editorial call on Monday for Jack Morrison to give up his seat on the University of Akron's Board of Trustees was the latest attempt to persuade him to leave short of trussing him up and wheeling him off the campus. Don't count on that happening any time soon, if ever. For months, Morrison, the Akron lawyer whose resume now includes two misdemeanor convictions on ethics charges, has been impervious to any suggestion by high ranking officials that he pack up and leave the UA board as well as the Summit County Board of Elections, where he is the chairman of the often rancorous four- member panel.

His critics have included Gov. Strickland, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut, some Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio legislature and a silent cadre of trustees who whisper there there's not a damn thing they can do about it.
Morrison, an influential Republican who serves as the lawyer for the Summit County GOP, knows all of this quite well and assumes that so long as his conviction is being appealed, any attacks on his status as a UA trustee are, well...purely academic.

As everyone surely knows, his legal problems evolve from his son's purchase of a derelict home near the University's new football field and Father Morrison's interest- bearing loan to his son to underwrite the transaction for a house that has since been torn down after it was resold for a profit. The Ohio Ehtics Commission insisted that the elder Morrison was less than candid about these details.

Since July, when the court ruled against him, Morrison has drawn more attention in political and academic circles than one would expect of Sarah Palin, the newly arrived literary sensation who has been known to draw a crowd or two in Ohio, as elsewhere - in a losing cause.

Morrison is not really the only issue anymore. It's the negatives that he's heaped on the University simply by stonewalling. He probably correctly concludes that if the University can live with it, so can he.

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