Updated/Revised: 11:20 a. m
May 6, 2015 has come and gone for Massillon Municipal Court judge Edward J. Elum and now the wait to see what the future has in store for him.
It could be up to a year before we know anything about the outcome of last Friday's hearing if the October, 2012 decision on whether or not Elum should be disciplined is any indication of the timeframe for the current charges to be resolved.
The SCPR considers the 2012 decision to have been "Strike Two" in Stark County's version of "Casey at Bat" (LINK).
For the Board of Professional Conduct heard that matter in September, 2011 and the decision on the Board's recommendation was not forthcoming until October 18, 2012.
In a report for the Massillon Independent
- prepared by a Columbus-based journalist [David Harpster], Harpster is a former Massillon Independent sports reporter who now lives in Columbus.
- Judicial Conduct Rule 1.2: A judge shall act at all times in
a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence,
integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid
impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
- Judicial Conduct Rule 3.1(C): A judge shall not participate
in activities that would appear to a reasonable person to undermine
the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality.
- Judicial Conduct Rule 3.1(D): A judge shall not engage in
conduct that would appear to a reasonable person to be coercive.
- Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(D): A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
If the October, 2012 decision sanctioning Elum with a suspended suspension of his license, was Strike "2" as the SCPR proffers that it was, what was Strike "1"?
For the SCPR's part is is when Elum embarrassed then Attorney General Tony Celebrezze wit Celebrezze having to apologize for Elum (then an attorney general office employee as a lawyer) in doing political work for then candidate for Ohio's then 49th House District from the AG's office.
From a January 5, 2015 SCPR Blog:
This from 1988: [LINK]
From Columbus Dispatch Archive:
1) CELEBREZZE APOLOGIZES FOR ELUM'S ERROR
Date: August 28, 1988
Publication: Columbus Dispatch, The (OH) Page: 6D
Word Count: 457
Document ID: 11B95F72895A9F70
Ohio Attorney General Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. apologized for "inappropriate behavior" by one of his lawyers who used state facilities to campaign for a candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives.
State Rep. Charles "Red" Ash, R-North Industry, complained to Celebrezze that Assistant Attorney General Edward J. Elum was going too far to promote Johnnie A. Maier of Massillon, Ash's Democratic opponent in the Nov. 8... (reference LINK)
Here are links to a number of blogs that the SCPR has written which include Elum that detail a number of sins that some Massillonians think Elum has committed over his years as a Massillon community leader:
Which is interesting to me inasmuch as I have heard circa 2002 through 2005 Maier, Jr. complain about the easily irritated Judge Edward J. Elum.
Being a lawyer at the time, in 1988 the SCPR thinks Elum should have been brought up on ethics charges going back to the 1988 incident.
Hence, the 1988 matter qualifies as Strike "1" in the book of The Report.
So it remains to be seen whether or not the Board of Professional Conduct/Ohio Supreme Court throws Elum a pitch he cannot it.
The SCPR for thinks that the gig should be up for Elum.
The Report believes that the ethical charges that Elum has been brought upon on are merely the tip of the iceberg of what he could have been brought up on over his many years as a judge.
And who knows.
He may have in his record a number of complaints in the "not for public view" file of Ohio's Disciplinary Counsel that Disciplinary Counsel did not move forward on.
The SCPR believes that it is likely that such is the case.
It has been reported that access to Elum is being restricted so as to protect Elum from himself (the SCPR's interpretation).
That in and of itself is clear indication to yours truly that the Ohio Supreme Court ought to foreclose the possibility that Elum continue to serve as a judge notwithstanding his many good works in Stark County society.
While lawyers are typically dealt with in much harsher ways than judges by Disciplinary Counsel, the Board of Professional Conduct and indeed, the Ohio Supreme Court; the Elum case merits a pitch being thrown which proves unhitable, un-foulable.
A called or swinging "Strike-3" is the only thing that will put Elum off-the-bench (judicial) and onto-the-bench (baseball) which is where the SCPR thinks he ought to be because of his inability to manage himself.