Thursday, February 19, 2015

Courting GOP politics in the courts

The frigid  temperatures we've all been suffering still can't match the icy winds blowing from Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic's office to Federal Judge John Adams' court.

Don't know why anybody would be  surprised that the feisty mayor, from sheer frustration, unloaded on Adams in a letter that appeared on the Beacon Journal's op-ed page.  The volcano has been heating up for some time in the wake of Adams' hostile decisions against the city on a long-delayed sewer plan  and  other matters that the mayor found to be intolerably disruptive to the city's order of business.  Not only that:  the well-reported sewer issue has cost Akron's taxpayers a tall pile of money from the court-ordered delays.

Along the way the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has been critical of Adams' judicial behavior in a suit involving a Stow firefighter and withdrew the case from Adams' court.  In another case, the appellate court reversed his decision that was  detrimental to a federal public defender.  The Beacon Journal  said Adams had acted ''carelessly".

Meantime, the odd behavior  of a  Summit County   Common Pleas judge erupted into another unraveling of what the public has a right  to expect from the judiciary. Judge Tammy O'Brien  recused herself from about 60  cases because, of all things, her bailiff-in-command refused to share the court room with  Jay Cole, an assistant county prosecutor.  It took on  political soap opera proportions because Tiffany Morrison, the bailiff,  threatened to quit her job if Cole showed up in O'Brien's court to do his assigned job.  But daylight at last: On Wednesday, O'Brien, faced with the onrush of  public criticism,  said she would end her recusals.

 Tiffany is the daughter of Atty. Jack Morrison, who has had a few brushes with the law in which Cole appeared in a  case involving  the Ohio Ethics Commission. Morrison was  cleared of the misdemeanors .

Dad Morrison is a big kahuna in the Republican Party as a contributor and legal advisor to GOP county chairman Alex Arshinkoff.

The chairman has been a forever critic of Plusquellic and has been known over the years to whisper that the mayor would be indicted, but never clear about what.  He's also played a strong hand in the appointments of Adams and O'Brien to their current labors.

Don't want to sound like a conspiracist, but there does seem to be a political intrusion into a couple of issues  hereabouts. It isn't cheating if you squint  for greater clarity. .

Tell me I'm wrong.

No comments: