Friday, January 5, 2018


UPDATE:  01/24/2018



It has been some time since The Stark County Political Report (SCPR) has written about Stark County Court of Common Pleas (Probate Division) Dixie Park, an Alliance Republican.

Note:  For the record, the SCPR has never had a problem with Judge Park in the appearances that this blogger has had as an attorney (1973 through June, 2014 [going inactive]) before her. 

Here is a list of previous blogs I have written on Judge Park:
A new instance of an alleged Park participation in denial of Due Process of Law has surfaced as alleged by long time legal antagonist Craig T. Conley.

As the SCPR understands Conley's assertion as it stands now is that Judge Park's refusal to recuse herself from presiding over a current Conley lawyered case before her is tantamount to his client in a derivatively prejudicial context covering an extended Conley/Park interaction (for example, third party witness testimony in a prior Conley/Park case connection that Park has called Conley an 'evil asshole')

At the end of this blog, a complete .pdf file of the filing of Conley's affidavit of disqualification is in place to be viewed by SCPR readers.

In the aforementioned filing on or about January 4th (submitted December 29th/received January 4th) with the Ohio Supreme Court, Conley (by his own admission) continues his quest to get her removed from the Stark County bench in a step-by-step, inch-by-inch process which now covers several years.

Some excerpts from the current filing:

First, the filing cover letter:

Next, Conley accuses the Ohio Supreme Court (OSC, via it Office of Legal Resources [OLR]) itself of having ex parte (communicating with one side only) communications with Judge Park on other proceedings filed by Conley against Park, to wit:

Of all Conley's misgiving on the baseline fairness of Judge Park, the ex parte communications, he says, are the most troubling.

He tells the SCPR that he sees the ex parte as he says has occurred in the past and suspects will once again in his current disqualification proceeding should be disturbing to all who care about the 'fair' administration.

In short, Conley view "substantive" one-sided conversations between judges and litigants as being a clear violation of U.S./Ohio constitutional Due Process of Law standards.

He does not see things like setting hearing dates so long as the conversation is limited to administrative procedure matters of the like to be Due Process of Law violations.

The significance of  "substantive" ex parte communication is so critically important, in his view, if it occurs in this instance of his filing the current affidavit,  Conley says, as it has in the past, he INTENDS to file an ethics complaint against the OSC's chief justice, the director of the OLR and Judge Park once the disqualification issue has been disposed of one way or another.

Conley goes in further in saying that Judge Park herself as a matter of judicial ethics in agreeing to participate in past ex parte telephone calls which, he is concerned, is about to happen once again if it has not already happened from the standpoint of Park contacting the OLR.

That Conley and his clients seemingly benefit from the OLR ex parte interventions in that in some six disqualifications filed by him against Park resulted in her recusing herself from a given case is no consolation to him.  For he is a "rule of law" guy who expects much better of all Ohio judges and certainly on the part of Ohio's Supreme Court justices that they not themselves or through a subsidiary agency of the court (i.e. the OLR) allow "substantive" Due Process of Law violative conversations.

Only one of Conley's past filed affidavits of disqualification which went on to be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court chief justice which was denied.  Conley cites a 1990ish study which found that 97% of chief justice decided disqualification affidavits resulted in denials.

Moreover he goes on to say that chief justice decided disqualification cases are few and far between (probably because of seemingly Supreme Court sanctioned "standard operating procedure-esque 'substantive'" ex partes)  and consequently Ohio attorneys have very little legal precedent (stare decisis being a cornerstone of American/Ohio jurisprudence) on which to know what will and what will not work to get a judge disqualified in a particular case by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Next,  particularities in Conley's affidavit:  (note:  affidavit is sworn to "under oath" and therefore like courtroom sworn-to testimoney is subject to penalties of perjury if proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be untrue)

Specifically reprehensible is a case situation in which has placed Conley in a clearly impossible "rock and hard place" position as spelled out by the following documents.

Conley may never be successful in realizing his quest to get Park off the Stark County bench because those lawyers/judges positioned in Stark County/state of Ohio legal circles seemingly are not dedicated, committed enough to doing what it takes (in availing themselves of legal process) to have the Supreme Court remove Judge Park from the bench.

Should Conley fail to get Park's judicial removal either by a statutory provided for removal process or by way of an ethics proceeding (which he says, one of which, he will initiate within the next several months),  he will then have to push an effort to have a qualified person to run against her next time she runs for re-election.

She is up for re-election in 2020 and that might be the scenario which presents Conley with his best chance to engineer her defeat at the polls.

Park should not discount Conley's political electoral abilities.  In November, 2009 Conley put together a grassroots effort that repealed a December, 2008 "imposed" countywide sales tax imposed by then commissioners Bosley, Harmon and Vignos.

Dixie Park should not be continuing on as an elected Stark County Court of Common Pleas judge.

As voiced by the SCPR she ought to resign and members of the Stark County Bar Association ought to be telling her that and availing themselves of legal processes to effect her removal.

Quite a number of local members of the Stark County Bar Association tell Conley privately that they agree with him that Park should not be on the bench but going public is quite another thing.

Of course, the SCPR is not surprised to hear this.

In doing The Stark County Political Report, it is common to have citizens, appointed officials and elected officials relay information to The Report OFF-THE-RECORD.

Some of the "off-the-record" is justified but much of it is not.  The part that is not; boils down to cowardliness.  However, the SCPR does recognize that there are instances in which "off-the-record" is appropriate.

As former Canton mayor William J. Healy, II stated to The Report:  "Martin, I will say this for you, you put your name to everything you write."

Once upon a time (last published on June 25, 2015) there was a Stark County sited  blog called the "Massillon Review" which the SCPR believes/thinks was written by Massillon clerk of courts employee R. Shane Jackson likely with the encouragement if not the participation of elected clerk Johnnie A Maier, Jr.

This blogger writes "believes/thinks" because the blog itself does not own up as to whom wrote/published it, to wit (from the blog's profile page)

Some 1,657 have sought out the identity of the writ!er/publisher but to no avail.

The SCPR calls for the writer(s) of Massillon Review to come out of the woodwork and identify him/themselves.

Undoubtedly, those among the Stark County bar who tell Conley privately they agree with him but will not come out into the "light of day" also lack the courage of their convictions.

So, so, so SAD, no?

One of Park's cases (overturned by the 5th District Court of Appeals) nominated by the SCPR as being "the jailing case" (in which Park jailed a Stark Countian for over a week which was found to be grounded by the 5th District to in a denial of Due Process of Law) is one among three in which Judge Park has demonstrated (because the case were appealed to the 5th District) in which Park was reversed on Due Process of Law grounds.

Who knows how many additional Park infringements there are of basic constitutional protections that Park has violated but have gone unrequited because the cases were not appealed to the 5th District?

Additionally, the SCPR is convinced information obtained from a variety of sources that Judge Park has a "favorites" list of attorneys (which Conley estimates to be about one-half-dozen or so)  practicing before her and a "disfavor" list (also about one half-dozen or so), the latter of which is headed by local attorney and civic activist Craig T. Conley.

Accordingly to Conley, about three dozen attorneys practicing before Park have had "disfavored" treatment that are grounded in whim and caprice rather than well reasoned analysis of constitutional, statutory and case law.

And what about sworn testimony to the effect that Judge Park has mistreated some of the court's employees.  Make no mistake about it, these folks are not Park's personal employees.  They are on the job to serve the Stark County public not the personal whims and caprices of Judge Park.
We all know that judges are pretty powerful people in the American scheme of government.

But not nearly as powerful as Judge Park thinks unless of course a given judge goes unchecked by "check and balance" factors built into the U.S. framework of governance and professional organizations including the Ohio Supreme Court.

To repeat, it seems to the SCPR that Judge Park remains on the local bench may somewhat be owing to the cowardice of a significant number  some 1,000 (more or less) Stark County Bar Association member lawyers and judges in having sat on their collective duffs and done nothing to abate the Park diminution of the quality of Stark County probate court justice.

SCPR plaudits go to the 5th District Court of Appeals judges who have gone on record in, in effect, chastising Park for her failure to properly apply Due Process of Law standards.

Among those judges are Bill Hoffman, Scott Gwin (both Democrats) and John Wise (a Republican whose father Reuben Z. Wise, Jr was an esteemed/storied/highly competent Stark County Probate Court judge).

The Canton Repository (Stark County's newsprint monopoly) has been remiss in getting the Park deficiencies as a judge before the Stark County public.

One has to wonder when The Rep is going to announce that it is in a business modality and is going to take on employment as a public relations agent for Park (a la the Pro Football Hall of Fame) but fear not such a role will not affect its reporting/editorializing independent of the business relationship.

It is shocking that Judge Park could be selected, in light of her documented lack of Due Process of Law comprehension as a Constitution Day speaker.

On September 17, 2014 that is exactly what The University of Mount Union did.  Obviously, the university selectors did a poor job of vetting Park's understanding of and application of Due Process of Law.


Complete Copy of Conley Affidavit of Disqualification Documents

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