Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shouldn't Ohio's Attorney General Know and Follow the Law?

During the final weeks of the 2008 presidential election then Senator Obama was doing a grip and grin walk through a Toledo neighborhood. He came across Joe Wurzelbacher who asked the candidate a question which was answered with more than intended truth as the candidate made a now infamous comment about spreading the wealth around. In the weeks that followed that encounter, some Democratic political operatives/Ohio government employees who were upset about their candidate's socialistic leanings being exposed abused their official governmental positions to invade Wurzelbacher's privacy. Now, Wurzelbacher is suing them for their illegal actions. Which led to this item in Politics Daily:
After investigating, Ohio's independent inspector general concluded there was "no reasonable basis" for the searches. Wurzelbacher subsequently filed a civil rights lawsuit against the three employees. Now, as Bill Hershey reported in the Dayton Daily News, Democratic Attorney General Richard Cordray had agreed to represent them in court.
The problem with Cordray's decision is that an Ohio statute states, "The attorney general may not represent an employee who acts recklessly, maliciously or in bad faith outside the scope of his employment." The inspector general's conclusion that there was "no reasonable basis" for the searches suggests that they were done outside the scope of the workers' employment and should absolve the attorney general from the responsibility of defending these individuals.

Corday's screw up has legs, as former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, who is running for attorney general, is making political hay about this and it reflects on the governor who will have a tough reelection next year if the economic situtation doesn't improve markedly.
DeWine authored an op-ed in the Dayton Daily News. "Cordray's decision to provide legal representation in the face of Ohio law may provide political cover to the (Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted) Strickland administration, which appointed the wrong-doers, but it is no way to run the attorney general's office," he wrote. "Ohioans deserve an attorney general who will make decisions based on the law, not politics."
If this case is delayed and drags on for a while it could have serious impact on next years elections. Regular folks who are not tied to either party (independents?) frown on government hacks using their access to attack citizens.

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