Here's yet another example of why one-party rule of any institution is usually a supremely terrible idea. The local Republican Party has long dominated the little-scrutinized Hamilton County Courthouse, making it a bastion of patronage for friends and campaign workers, along with serving as a launching pad for up-and-coming politicians. That would be bad enough, but an incident last month has troubling implications for how justice is meted out in the county.
I’ve been covering City Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz as a reporter and columnist since her first council campaign back in 2005. On a personal level, she can be funny and intelligent and prone to uttering newsworthy quotes. Like every public official I've covered, sometimes I agree with her, sometimes I don't. During this campaign season, unfortunately, Ghiz presented herself as a much harder-edged, angry and occasionally rude candidate.
It's always surprising which columns elicit the biggest reaction from readers. I might think my pieces on health care reform or the Religious Right would trigger a heated reaction, but inevitably it's the ones I consider mostly self-evident and not particularly controversial that kick up the largest shit storm. Let's check out some of my recent correspondence.
There's a lawsuit just beginning in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court that potentially could involve the largest amount of damages ever awarded locally if the plaintiff is successful. Little surprise, then, that the plaintiff's lawyer is Stan Chesley, a master of class-action and personal injury lawsuits who's an A-list celebrity in the Queen City.
A woman who created a group to protest what she calls the unprofessional conduct of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says a detective on his staff recently called her and tried to intimidate her into stopping the group's high-profile criticism. "I found the whole thing highly unusual and really weird," says Franki Butler-Kidd, who heads Citizens Against Joe Deters.
By the time this issue of CityBeat is published, the long and hard-fought presidential election will finally be over. Here are a couple of items to ponder as you're either celebrating or crying in your beer.
As Republicans become increasingly desperate about John McCain's prospects on Election Day, reasonable people are asking whether Joe Deters' position as McCain's Southwest Ohio campaign chairman is influencing his actions in his day job as Hamilton County prosecutor.