We read with great interest the article posted by our patriotic friends at Auburntownship.org.
Judicial Watch (JW), for those who are unfamiliar with them, is a conservative, non-partisan organization in Washington, D.C. that promotes integrity in government. Their motto says it all: “Because no one is above the law.” They use the open records act to investigate and uncover misconduct by public officials.
On April 2, 2019 JW sent a public records request to the office of Prosecutor James Flaiz requesting information about part-time investigator, Craig Young. Ironically, it is similar, although more extensive that the one submitted by resident Susan Daniels, who filed hers on December 11, 2018. Her record request became Exhibit A in a Writ of Mandamus filed in February 2019 because Flaiz refused to respond to her entire request. (Record request & Exhibit A)
Flaiz’s outside legal firm filed an Answer to the writ and demanded a Jury Trial. A mandamus hearing is normally a simple hearing where a person is asked if they are entitled to the public records and, in this case, Flaiz would have been told to hand them over. By asking for a jury trial, Flaiz’s attorneys have delayed the hearing and turned it into a trial, which will cost the taxpayers another $1,200.
No hearing date was set until Daniels called the bailiff for Judge Paschke, where the case was assigned. Daniels was told that that the pre-trial hearing date is set for December 9th.
Last week Flaiz’s lawyers, from the law firm of Manzanec, Raskin & Ryder, filed a Motion for a Summary Judgment. (Summary Judgment) Why they included a record request from Daniels for the Sheriff’s Dept. has everyone scratching their head.(For those who do not know, Ed Ryder is the Chairman for the Geauga County Board of Elections.)
In the Summary Judgment, they claim that Daniels’ request was “overly broad” and the Writ should be dismissed. They do not want to give Daniels the records for which she asked.
However, on May 17, 2019, William Marshall received a letter from Flaiz’s office telling him they are preparing all the records for him. So the request from JW, which was more extensive, is not “overly broad” but the one for a tax paying resident is?
The buffoonery at the prosecutor’s office continues.
[LFC Comments: It appears that the elected officials in Geauga County have lost sight of who works for whom. The politicians “lawyer up” with the taxpayers paying the bills. Notice that they demanded a jury trial just to make it more expensive for the taxpayers. It is past time for exposing our elected officials and entrenched bureaucrats]