On April 23rd, the SCPR wrote, in part:
The SCPR has learned that Judge Michael McNulty has found "no" probable cause that Judge Francis G. Forchone committed a "theft-in-office" in his handling of the $5,000 Sandy Hook School Support matter growing out of the Scott D. Studer case. (LINK to prior SCPR blog for background).
A complaining affidavit was filed with the Canton Municipal Court on February 28, 2013 by one Louis W. Demis now of Columbus, Ohio but formerly of Navarre (Stark County) Ohio.
Local media failed to inform the Stark County public about the filing of the affidavit when it was filed even though there is indication that they had access to the filing early on.
The SCPR published a blog on the matter forthwith on first learning about the existence of the filed affidavit.
Demis' attorney, Craig T. Conley, told yours truly that depending on his analysis of the articulated basis of Judge McNulty's decision, he may look into whether or not there is an appeal to be made.LINK to the entire blog .
On the following day The Report in analyzing McNulty's decision, in part wrote:
It takes less than 10 minutes. Morgan's [Akron Chief Assistant Prosecutor Craig Morgan] presentation sealed the deal. There would be no finding of probable cause.LINK to the entire blog.
What judge in all of America would find probable cause in the face of a prosecutor saying "I can't prosecute" and intimating "I will not prosecute?"
Notwithstanding, Judge McNulty's "no probable cause" decision, local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley has agreed to carry on behalf of Columbus resident (however, a former Navarre resident) Louis Demis with the case.
On the 15th of this month (last Wednesday), immediately on flying out of the country on a planned vacation (the SCPR was only joking in terming it "high-tailing" in this blog's headliner) Conley caused a Notice of Appeal to be filed.
So far Judge Frank Forchione (Stark County Court of Common Pleas) has to be "'feelin' good" about his prospects in the ultimate outcome of this case.
While it is common for those who lose in a trial court (or, in this case, a municipal court deciding on probable cause) to march out to the court house steps and declare that there will be an appeal.
The reality of appealing is that relatively few cases are overturned on appeal.
And, one has to believe that Conley and his client are not likely to succeed on appeal.
However, Conley tells the SCPR he feels very strongly that Demis v. Forchione is the exception rather than the rule; hence, the appeal.
If yours truly understands Conley's analysis, it appears that in his view is that McNulty's language:
"Further it is doubtful that the $5,000 in question was ever the property of Stark County."provides an opportunity beyond the points of law already argued by him in the probable cause hearing itself.
Notwithstanding the well known reality among attorneys who appeal cases as a matter of course that chances on appeal are pretty slim, one has to be struck by the Demis/Conley persistence.
In, reportedly, former Hall of Fame New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra lanquage: "It ain't over til its over."
While Judge Forchione appears to be "sitting pretty" in terms of his legal position, one would think that there has to be some unease that the case is being carried on.
For we all are fully aware of another well known colloquialism: "Its not over until the fat lady sings."
Only and only if the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals (sitting principally in Canton) confirms Judge McNulty, will Judge Frank Forchione finally have his rulings and actions in State of Ohio versus Studer fully behind him?