by James McNair
Ohio Supreme Court has until Dec. 14 to consider settlement over sealing of case
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. And he’s doing it with
the help of the Butler County prosecutor who endorsed the secrecy.
Robert Lyons, whose part-time job as the judge for Butler
County Area I Court supplements his income as a practicing attorney,
took the student’s guilty plea to disorderly conduct on Nov. 8. At the
request of the young man’s lawyer, Dennis Deters, the judge ordered the
case file and all printed references to the defendant’s name sealed from
public view. The order extended to paperwork generated by the Miami
University Police Department. In effect, other than the press coverage
it received, all record that the crime was committed and the perpetrator
was brought to justice doesn’t exist.
Six days later, the Cincinnati Enquirer filed suit
against Lyons with the Ohio Supreme Court. It said Lyons erred by
issuing a “blanket” seal of the case. It said he failed to “find by
clear and convincing evidence that the presumption of public access is
outweighed by a higher interest” and further failed to conduct a hearing
where the Enquirer could argue for public access. The Enquirer didn't mention in its initial report on the plea deal an intent to sue over the sealing, and to date it hasn’t reported on its own lawsuit.
Lyons was given until Dec. 14 to file an answer. What’s
weird is that Lyons is represented by Butler County’s Prosecuting
Attorney, Mike Gmoser. In Ohio, the county prosecutor serves as legal
counsel for county government, county agencies and school districts —
and represents them in court — as standard practice. As a private
practitioner, though, Lyons specializes in defending people accused of
drunken driving. Guess who sits at the opposing counsel’s table in those
cases? Yes, Gmoser’s deputy prosecutors.
Lyons’ unusual role as defender and decider of DWI cases drew umbrage from Gmoser in March. According to the Hamilton Journal-News,
Lyons the judge was about to rule on a motion to disallow the results
of an Intoxilyzer 8000 blood-alcohol testing device in a DWI case. Lyons
the lawyer, meanwhile, had challenged the validity of the machine in
other cases, and his firm ran seminars about its failings. At Gmoser’s
request, a higher court judge in July ordered Lyons to step down from
hearing 10 pending DWI cases.
Last Thursday, in his initial response to the Enquirer’s
lawsuit to open the rape tipster’s court file, Lyons hinted at the
possibility of not fighting the suit. He asked to have until Dec. 14 to
file a full response “so as to give settlement discussions an
opportunity to come to fruition.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
SUNDAY OCT. 28: Many people who read today’s Enquirer
endorsement of Mitt Romney for president likely set the paper down,
said something like “I need to move out of this [expletive] city” and
then googled “Jobs where newspapers don’t endorse Sarah Palin.”
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Miami University is a sick, sick campus in desperate need
of the largest group therapy session ever recorded, top-rung leadership
more palpably concerned with student safety and a less corporate
approach to media relations.
by German Lopez
Duke Energy told city officials to OK an operating deal
for the streetcar before trying to talk costs. The fighting words are in the
middle of an ongoing feud between city officials and Duke Energy about
who will move utility lines and pipes to accommodate the streetcar.
The operating details will help Duke know what “unbreakable rules” about
maintenance and emergency repairs exist and where the streetcar will go,
according to the company’s spokesperson. CityBeat previously covered the streetcar issue and all the pettiness from Duke here.
A suspended frat is suing Miami University. The frat was
suspended after a fireworks battle led to the discovery of illegal
substances in the frat. The frat claims the university improperly
suspended it, damaged its business and property, and made libelous
allegations out of “malice, hatred and ill will.” The frat says it
shouldn’t have been suspended without a written complaint, but Miami's spokesperson said the university is allowed to suspend
students without a written complaint if there is a pending
investigation.Ohio will soon begin tying college funding to graduation rates. If only that was done with e-schools.Equality Ohio announced Columbus, Ohio made a step forward
in LGBT rights yesterday. It is now among the few cities in Ohio to
have a domestic partner registry, which allows same-sex couples to
legally declare their relationships without marriage or civil unions.
Toledo, Cleveland, Athens and Dayton also have registries.Secretary of State Jon Husted wrote a “guest column” on his own website defending early voting rules in Ohio. Republicans are facing criticism over bringing racial politics and poor arguments into the early voting debate.Ohio’s unemployed will soon get a little less help from the
federal government, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Ohio’s rapidly falling unemployment rate has triggered a second
reduction in the amount of aid the unemployed can get. Before April
2012, unemployed Ohioans were eligible for 99 weeks of benefits. The eligible weeks dropped to 73 weeks in April
and will drop to 63 weeks starting in September. However, the benefits are set to expire in December if the federal government doesn't act, and that would push the eligible weeks down to 26 weeks. Ohio's unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent, down from 10.6 percent at the height of the recession.
The University of Cincinnati’s new interim president just got a nice raise.The state texting-while-driving ban goes into effect tomorrow.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio made his speech at the Republican
national convention yesterday. In the speech, he criticized President
Barack Obama for the current state of the economy. In return, Democrats criticized
Portman for his budget work for former President George W. Bush,
whose administration is widely blamed for the current economic crisis.It seems like Paul Ryan spent a lot of time lying in his
speech at the Republican national convention yesterday. The vice
presidential candidate blamed Obama for an auto plant closing
that closed before Obama was president. It seems Ryan is getting
on-board with the Romney-Mandel plan of running on dishonesty.
Cincinnati is the top hot dog city, according to a new
survey. The survey says 7.3 percent of Cincinnati restaurant menus have hot dog options, making it the city with the most accessible hot dogs.Space sugars have been found around a young star.
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: News
at 03:27 PM | Permalink
Phi Kappa Tau claims university unconstitutionally suspended it
UPDATE: 5:11 p.m. Updated with comment from Miami University spokeswoman.A Miami University fraternity that was suspended after an
alleged fireworks battle led to police finding drugs when executing a
search warrant has filed a lawsuit with the frat demanding $10 million
from the university.
The Phi Kappa Tau chapter at Miami university alleges in
their lawsuit that university officials improperly suspended the
fraternity, damaged its business and property and made libelous
allegations out of “malice, hatred and ill will.”
The frat is suing for compensation as well as $10 million
in punitive damages and attorneys fees. The Tuesday court filing
demanded a trial by jury.
The fraternity was suspended after members of the Phi
Kappa Tau and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities allegedly threw lit
fireworks between their two frat houses.
When Oxford police officers tried to investigate, students
refused to let them into the houses without warrants. So the police got
According to the filing, inside the Phi Kappa Tau house police found fireworks, a baggy of marijuana and two pipes.
The lawsuit alleges that the university improperly
suspended the fraternity because it did so in the absence of any written
complaint. It claims that there are no police complaints or charges as
of the lawsuit’s filing.
The suit also alleges that the university recklessly made
false statements damaging the reputation of the fraternity and causing
some of its members “severe emotional distress.”
Miami University spokeswoman Claire Wagner declined to comment on the lawsuit. However, she said the school's student code allows the Dean of Students or a designee to issue a summary suspension without a written complaint if there is a pending investigation. She said the university, as well as Oxford fire and police, are investigating the incident.
by Andy Brownfield
Presumed GOP VP nominee to visit alma mater Miami Wednesday
Preempting the Wednesday homecoming of presumed Republican
vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan to his alma mater Miami
University, the Obama campaign is opening an office in Oxford Tuesday
The guest speaker at the office opening will be Butler
County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro who, according to a
news release, will contrast the competing visions of President Barack
Obama and his presumptive Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
“The Romney-Ryan budget would devastate the security of
senior citizens — ending Medicare as we know it by turning the program
into a voucher system and privatizing Social Security,” the release
read.Along with a Milford office which is also opening Tuesday, the Oxford office with contribute to the total of nine campaign offices in the region. The Obama campaign has offices in East Walnut Hills, College Hill, Forest Park, Cheviot, Middletown, Springboro and Mason.
Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Ryan will speak Wednesday evening at Miami
University’s Engineering Quad, according to the Miami College
Republicans’ Facebook page.
Ryan graduated from Miami in 1992 and was asked back as the commencement speaker in 2009.
Romney is planning a bus tour with three Ohio stops on Tuesday.Updates to include the opening of a Milford office on Tuesday.
Local colleges increase tuition, cut offerings in response to decreasing state funding
2 Comments · Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A U.S. Department of Education survey has
found that Ohio’s public colleges are among the most expensive for
students nationwide, and universities around the region were quick to blame the Ohio state government for high costs.
by Kevin Osborne
Buyer beware! Cincinnati police are investigating reports of several hundred counterfeit tickets to Thursday's Opening Day game. The Cincinnati Reds say the tickets were sold on the streets in the lead up to the game versus the Marlins. At least 47 of the bogus tickets were collected when people tried to use them at the gate.Government, business and civic leaders are mulling a proposal to ask Hamilton County voters to raise the sales tax to help fund the operation and maintenance of the region's arts institutions. If a sales tax is proposed, voters could be asked to increase the current 6.5 percent sales tax by either one-quarter or one-half of a cent. Beneficiaries of the revenue might include the Museum Center at Union Terminal, Music Hall, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig congratulated 10 at-risk youth Saturday who are the city's first boot camp graduates. The students from Rothenberg School were formally recognized for graduating from the first official Children in Trauma Intervention Boot Camp.A Pennsylvania man and two Illinois homeowners are suing Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank and six mortgage insurers, alleging the bank got "kickbacks" from the insurers in violation of federal law. Fifth Third had arrangements with the insurers under which they bought "reinsurance" from the bank, according to the complaint. From 2004 to 2011, Fifth Third received $54 million in reinsurance premium payments from insurers and paid out $4.9 million in claims.A fraternity at Miami University is suspended from operations at the Oxford campus. Sigma Chi has been told to move out of their chapter house by their national headquarters. Officials didn't release details of the suspension, only stating it's the result of some kind of inappropriate behavior. Fraternity members have until Wednesday to move out. Let the speculation begin. In news elsewhere, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq are criticizing U.S. policy toward their nation. They say the Obama administration is ignoring Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s increasingly authoritarian behavior. Since U.S. troops withdrew in December, Maliki has extended his reach to take on his political rivals, drawing accusations from Iraq’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities that he is intent on establishing a dictatorship.Comedian and author Bill Cosby said in an interview that George Zimmerman never would've confronted Trayvon Martin if Zimmerman hadn't been carrying a gun, and that no neighborhood watch volunteers should be carrying weapons. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin — an unarmed African-American teenager — Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., allegedly in self-defense. “The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations,” Cosby said. “When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody.”Independent voters like President Obama better but feel ideologically closer to Mitt Romney, according to a new poll of a dozen battleground states released Monday. The survey, conducted by Global Strategy Group for the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way, examined attitudes of “swing independents” who express views of Romney or Obama that are neither strongly favorable nor unfavorable. In the poll, he led Romney 44 percent to 38 percent.Syrian forces have fired across the border into Turkey, hitting a refugee camp, just hours before a United Nations deadline to end the violent uprising in the nation is slated to take effect. Five people – three Syrians, one Turkish translator and one Turkish policeman – were wounded inside the camp near the town of Kilis, according to the governor Yusuf Odabas.Veteran TV journalist Mike Wallace, best known as one of the original co-anchors of 60 Minutes on CBS, died Saturday at age 93. The network plans an hour-long tribute to Wallace and his career on 60 Minutes next Sunday. In announcing his death, CBS lauded the brazen tactics that it said had made Wallace a household name "synonymous with the tough interview — a style he practically invented for television more than half a century ago." For the past three years, Wallace lived in a nursing care center and reportedly suffered from dementia.
by Danny Cross
Coinciding events are in response to recent assault on gay students in Oxford
Cincinnati and Miami University student organizations will hold
rallies at 5 p.m. Thursday in response to the March 24 assault of two
students — one from UC and one from Miami — on the Miami
campus. The events are meant to show support for GLBT people and call
for an end to hate crimes.
student Michael Bustin and a male friend were reportedly walking home
from a drag show when someone yelled a derogatory slur at them. Bustin's friend was then attacked by four men who also reportedly assaulted Bustin when he tried to help, according to
WLWT-TV. The two men had been holding hands during their walk home.
Miami University sent a memo to the community and reached
out to Bustin soon afterward.
The rallies’ Facebook
page says the other man was a University of Cincinnati student. The
police have released a sketch of one of the accused attackers and are
seeking the public’s help to find those involved.
Both events will begin
at 5 p.m. Those attending the Miami rally are encouraged to wear
"Love is the New Label/White Out Hate" shirts or just white
T-shirts or tops. After the rally, participants will line up holding
hands in a demonstration of solidarity and to show that “no one
deserves to be hurt for showing affection.”
More from the rallies’
Facebook page: “We, the students of the LGBTQA alliances of Miami
University and University of Cincinnati, stand united in our demand
for a safe places to live, learn, work and show affection. It is
unacceptable for anyone to be assaulted, but it is especially
repulsive for the victims to be targeted because of their race,
ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any
The Miami rally will
take place at the Phi Delt Gates on the Miami Campus, while the UC event will take place
at the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Clifton Avenue. The
events are being organized by Miami Spectrum and UC Alliance.
For more information,
click here or search on Facebook: “Emergency Action: Miami & UC Unite Against
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 3, 2012
A 118-year-old pump station and water tower in Eden Park
could soon be home to a microbrewery and tasting room if city officials
approve the developers’ request to overhaul the building. The developers
are reportedly members of the Martin family, which already owns the
Cincinnati Beer Company.