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Restricted Responsibility

Lawsuit argues Miami University should have dismissed alleged rapist for previous violations

2 Comments · Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Although every college campus has a problem with sexual assault, a lawsuit is putting the spotlight on Miami University in particular.   
by German Lopez 02.05.2013
Posted In: Casino, News, Budget, Economy, Governor, Education at 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ohio statehouse

Morning News and Stuff

Casino revenue estimates drop, Kasich's budget unveiled, fraternity's lawsuit dismissed

New casino revenue numbers are well below 2009 estimates. State officials previously estimated Ohio’s casinos would bring in $1.9 billion a year once they were built and functional, but the latest state budget cuts that prediction by half. The new estimates are due to competition with racinos and lower-than-expected performance at casinos that are already up and running.  Gov. John Kasich announced his 2014-2015 budget, unveiling a few pleasant and unpleasant surprises for progressives. As part of the budget, Ohio is going ahead with expanding Medicaid to meet Obamacare’s financial incentives, despite Kasich’s past criticism of the national health care program. But the budget also directs higher revenues to cutting taxes, instead of making up for past spending cuts enacted by Kasich. A Miami University fraternity’s $10 million lawsuit has been dismissed. The lawsuit accused the university of “malice, hatred and ill will” for the suspension of Phi Kappa Tau after it had a fireworks battle with another fraternity. The battle led to police discovering marijuana inside the fraternity. Looks like Ohioans are returning to school. Some universities, including Miami, have seen a spike in the number of applications recently, despite Ohio having fewer high school graduates in the past few years. The spike is likely due to out-of-state recruiting. City Council will vote tomorrow on whether to provide tax breaks for neighborhood projects in Walnut Hills and Linwood. The projects are focused on buildings that are apparently uninhabitable, according to the developer. PNC Bank is set to announce a “major gift” to Smale Riverfront Park. The gift would continue a stream of private contributions to the park. Last year, Procter & Gamble donated $1 million to fund the P&G Vibrant Playscape. Cincinnati’s tree fee will not change this year. The tree fee is paid by homeowners so the city can take care of trees in public rights of way. Cincinnati was awarded the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association for contributing to the renovations of the Villages at Roll Hill. An unhappy defendant punched his own lawyer in court.  The 3-D print revolution has taken an unexpected turn: Scientists can now print human embryonic cells. The researchers hope to use the cells as ink for printed organs and tissues.
 
 

Public Records Are Such For a Reason

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
When a reporter uses the law to pry public records from resisting officials, readers are supposed to benefit. And when readers value that invocation of open records laws, it adds luster to the reporter’s work.   
by James McNair 01.18.2013
at 05:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
mu rape flier

Judge Explains Rape Flier Case Sealing in Deposition

Cites concern for defendant's mental health, says sealings are common in "college town"

If the adverse publicity from pleading guilty to a minor crime — say indecent exposure or public intoxication — is likely to cause you mental anguish, pray that you go before a judge like Robert Lyons in Oxford. Lyons is the Butler County judge who took the guilty plea from the former Miami University student who posted the “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” flier in a dormitory bathroom. Lyons sealed the file in November, shielding the young man’s name from public view. Facing an Ohio Supreme Court challenge from the Cincinnati Enquirer, the judge dropped the disorderly conduct rap a month later and sealed the case again. Lyons recounts those events in a deposition taken by Enquirer lawyer Jack Greiner Jan. 15. (Download the full deposition by clicking here.) For starters, he swears he doesn’t remember the defendant’s name, even “if I was tortured.” And here’s why he locked away the case file and kept the Miami U. administration and campus police from disclosing his name: “What I remember about him is that there was certainly concern about his, say, his mental health and there were grounds stated on the record for the necessity of sealing the record. It had to do with his — probably as I recall, more so mental well-being than anything else.” The student wasn’t the first, nor the last, to be convicted of a crime in Lyons’ courtroom as leave as John Doe. As the part-time judge said under oath, “This is a college town. Record sealings, you know, I would say if I do 10 record sealings in a week, that is not many.”Lyons is represented by Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Gmoser, who originally prosecuted John Doe, convicting him of disorderly conduct. Gmoser has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case against Lyons. The Enquirer has other ideas. In a new pleading Friday, the paper says Lyons improperly dismissed the conviction without a statutorily necessary finding of “manifest injustice.” It wants to amend its lawsuit, while sticking with its contention that, in Ohio, judges must do a document-by-document review and conduct a public hearing before sealing case records.
 
 

Charges Dropped Against Miami Rape Flier Author

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The case of a former Miami University student who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for posting a “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” flier in a dormitory bathroom just keeps getting more controversial.   
by James McNair 01.09.2013
Posted In: News, Women's Health, Social Justice at 04:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
mu rape flier

Charges Dropped Against Miami Rape Flier Author

Judge allows convicted student to withdraw his plea, then seals case again

The case of a former Miami University student who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for posting a “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” flier in a dormitory bathroom just keeps getting more controversial.The controversy began Nov. 8, when Butler County Area 1 Court Judge Robert Lyons took the guilty plea and ordered all record of the case — including the defendant’s name — sealed from public view. The MU police chief says he is bound by Lyons’ order and can’t release the name. The Butler County Prosecuting Attorney’s office did not object to the sealing of the file.The Cincinnati Enquirer entered the picture six days later. It sued Lyons in the Ohio Supreme Court, saying he sealed the file without giving the newspaper a chance to argue for public access. In his answer — filed by the Prosecuting Attorney’s office on Dec. 13 — Lyons stood by his actions. Furthermore, he wrote that “there was no plea” in the case.Now we know where that came from. On that very same day, the case was back in Lyons court for reconsideration. This time, prosecutors agreed to drop the charge, and Lyons ruled it so. And, once again, he sealed the file, and no one present objected. The Enquirer reported on the dismissal Wednesday.Prosecuting Attorney Mike Gmoser won’t say why he agreed to dropping the charge until the Supreme Court case is over. “Save that question, and I will give you a full and detailed statement,” he told CityBeat. “I don’t try cases in the press.”Gmoser said he is asking the Supreme Court to dismiss the Enquirer’s suit because the issue at hand is “moot.”
 
 

Judge Who Sealed Miami Rape Flier Case Defends Decision

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Butler County judge who granted the anonymity of a former Miami University student convicted of posting a rape tips list on campus is standing by his decision.    
by James McNair 12.14.2012
Posted In: News, Women's Health, Courts at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
rlyons

Judge Who Sealed Miami Rape Flier Case Defends Decision

Lawyer denies a plea occurred, contradicting previous explanation

The Butler County judge who granted the anonymity of a former Miami University student convicted of posting a rape tips list on campus is standing by his decision. Area 1 Court Judge Robert Lyons ordered all case records sealed Nov. 8 after the student pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and agreed to pay an undisclosed fine. Six days later the Cincinnati Enquirer sued Lyons in the Ohio Supreme Court, arguing that the case file is a public record. Lyons, represented by Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Gmoser, filed his answer Thursday. He denied violating the Enquirer’s claim of a constitutional right to a hearing where it could have argued against secrecy. That Lyons is standing his ground comes as no surprise, but his answer contains one head-scratching statement. He — that is, Gmoser — wrote that “there was no plea” in the case. Yet in a first-person account of the case in the Miami University Student on Nov. 8, Gmoser wrote that the defendant pleaded guilty. The court’s own schedule for Nov. 8 says the case was up for the entry of a guilty plea.
 
 

Court Might Reveal Identity of Miami Rape Flier Author

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The sealing of a criminal court case involving a former Miami University student who posted a “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” flier in a freshman dormitory now has the presiding judge defending his decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.   
by German Lopez 12.10.2012
Posted In: Privatization, News, Budget, Courts, Economy, Casino at 09:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
city hall

Morning News and Stuff

Parking privatization deal reached, rape flier case could be unsealed, casino revenue drops

The city of Cincinnati and its largest city employees union have reached a deal regarding the privatization of the city’s parking assets. Under the deal’s terms, the city will give raises and not lay off anyone for three years, but only if the city’s parking assets are privatized. However, the head of a Clifton community group is still not happy with the privatization plan. He says the plan is bad for business because it limits the amount of affordable parking in the area. But would laying off 344 city employees be better for business? The identity of the Miami University student who put up the infamous “Top Ten Ways to Get Away with Rape” flier may soon be revealed. The Ohio Supreme Court will decide by Dec. 14 whether the case should be unsealed and open to public view. Robert Lyons, the Butler County part-time judge who sealed the case, has faced scrutiny in the past few months for conflicts of interest regarding drinking-and-driving cases. Revenue from casinos in Toledo and Cleveland is dropping. The numbers paint a bad picture for Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials expecting budget problems to be solved by casino revenue. A proposal mandating drug testing for welfare recipients in Ohio resurfaced last week. Republican legislators claim the requirement will save the state money, but a similar proposal in Florida added to budget woes as the state was forced to pay for drug tests. Ohio’s ultra-wealthy population is growing. About 1,330 Ohioans are worth $30 million or more, an increase of 2 percent since 2011, according to a report from Wealth-X. The news could shape Gov. John Kasich’s plan to cut the income tax using revenue from a higher oil-and-gas severance tax, perhaps encouraging state officials to make the cut more progressive. Gov. Kasich is ending the practice of giving so many tax credits to keep businesses in Ohio. The move could potentially cost the state jobs as businesses move to other areas with bigger, better incentives, but state officials and the business community don’t seem too worried for now. If the Ohio government agencies were forced to cut their budgets by 10 percent, the results would not be pretty. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction would have to close prisons, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would have a tougher time enforcing new regulations on fracking. Ohio’s exotic animal law is facing a challenge in federal court today. Exotic animal owners claim the law violates their First Amendment and property rights by forcing them to join private associations and give up their animals without compensation. They also do not like the provision that requires microchips be implanted into the animals. The Humane Society of the United States is defending the law, which was passed after a man released 56 exotic animals and killed himself in 2011. An Ohio court said a business tax on fuel sales must be used on road projects. Ohio gas prices are still dropping. The cure for leukemia could be a modified version of the AIDS virus.
 
 

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