UPDATED: 7:00 PM
CORRECTION: (08:54 AM)
In today's original blog the SCPR erroneously reported that Jennifer Arnold in her capacity as law director had requested the search warrant which is the subject this blog.
The warrant was issued in 2012 and Arnold did not become law director until early in 2014.
On that erroneous basis, The Report commented that it appeared to have been a case of "judge shopping."
With the premises being in error, of course, the comment thereon was unfounded with regard to the current law director for which the SCPR apologies to Ms. Arnold for.
Unbelievable! Simply unbelievable!! And a third time, utterly unbelievable!!!
Over a six month span (August 18, 2014 through February 18, 2015), Stark County Probate Court judge Dixie Park (Republican of Alliance) has been found by an appellate court to not have known the law.
In the first two cases, Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals (which includes Stark County) held that Judge Park did not understand and apply correctly the Constitutional law of Ohio and of the United States of America on due process of law.
Yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court found that she exceeded her authority in issuing a search warrant sought on behalf of the Alliance Police Department back in 2012.
A little rain falls on all our lives, no?
Nonetheless the SCPR thought that Park's error on Finan was so grievous and threatening to the legal well-being of day-in, day-out Stark Countians who might have the misfortune of appearing before her and incurring arbitrary "getting on her wrong side" that The Report launched a series designed to persuade Judge Park to resign.
Well, with yesterday's Ohio Supreme Court decision, the little bit of rain has now turned into a drencher if not a torrent.
The Report will not repeat the volumes that have already been written in this current series (who knows how long this is going to go on?), but here are links for those SCPR readers are not familiar with the details of what has gone on before:
- January 14, 2015,
- September 22, 2014,
- September 23, 2014,
- September 25, 2014, and
- September 29, 2014
The SCPR report wrote back in 2012 that Madden (a Republican) should have been the Republican appointee as Charles Brown's replacement when he retired.
As for Judge Park, The Stark County Political Report once again calls for her to resign.
Just take a look at what the Ohio Supreme Court had to say in yesterday's issued opinion.
The most disturbing thing about this latest Park episode is that her taking on a role not permitted as a matter of Ohio law (unless under appointment by the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court) could have jeopardized prosecutors' legal ability to continue with a prosecution of alleged violations of Ohio gambling laws.
Alliance justice officials need to explain to Alliance public who it was that initiated the contact with Judge Park in light of the clarity of the law of Ohio that a probate judge has no power to issue search warrants.
The primary question is whether or not the contact was a case of "judge shopping?"
If it can be determined that such was the case, then measures need to be instituted in the Alliance law department to ensure that such never occurs again.
The current law director (who has been in the Alliance Law Department since 2001 as an assistant prosecutor) that she will not as law director be asking any judge for a search warrant.
Doesn't that sound a little over the top?
- Note: The Reporter who wrote the story linked to above, in a "clarification" e-mail to the SCPR says that Arnold meant "other probate judges;" not judges who are statutorily authorized to grant search warrants.
Three Park by higher courts admonishments (including two reversals on Constitutional law grounds) within six (6) months!
And one can only shutter to think what litigants and their attorneys have had to endure at the hand of Judge Park on matters which have not made it up the ladder for review by Ohio officials to whom Park has accountability.
Unfortunately and disgustedly, Stark County's organized Democratic and Republican political parties both gave Park a pass in the 2012 elections.
The moral of the story on Dixilene Park as a Stark County judge, it seems to the SCPR, is that individual litigants and the county/municipal justice system itself cannot rely on her knowing and/or correctly applying the law of Ohio and of the United States of America.
The conclusion is inescapable, is it not?
Judge Park should resign and should resign today!