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.