Lawmaker seeks removal of Ohio governor candidate from bench

AP

Print Article

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) An Ohio state lawmaker began the process Thursday of trying to remove Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill from the bench following O'Neill's decision to run for governor.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, a Miamisburg Republican, said he filed initial paperwork aimed at O'Neill's removal.

Antani said O'Neill has committed a "clear violation" of the judicial code of conduct by politicking while serving on the court. He said O'Neill has taken positions on a number of partisan issues that jeopardize the judiciary's operations as a fair and independent body.

"Justice O'Neill's actions have shaken the public's trust in our judiciary and he must be removed immediately," Antani said.

Rule 4.5 of the judicial conduct code says a judge running for a non-judicial office "shall" resign "upon becoming a candidate."

O'Neill insists he has violated no rules. He said he recused himself last week from any new cases "to avoid even the appearance of impropriety," but plans to continue work on 99 ongoing cases until leaving the court nearer to the Feb. 7 candidate filing deadline.

"I have notified the court of a comprehensive and constitutionally permissible plan for my departure from the court when I become a candidate for governor," he said in a statement. "In Ohio, one becomes a candidate by filing petitions. I will be doing that in the first week of February."

O'Neill, 70, is the lone Democrat holding a statewide elected seat in Ohio. He must leave the court when his current term expires in January 2019 due to age limits. If he leaves early, Republican Gov. John Kasich gets to appoint a replacement.

Antani's action takes the form of a concurrent resolution requiring action by both the House and Senate. It summons O'Neill to appear before the General Assembly to "show cause" for why he shouldn't be removed.

The resolution lays out lawmakers' grievances against O'Neill, including that his Oct. 29 campaign announcement got wide news coverage and that he lists himself as a candidate on his website and on social media.

In his statement, O'Neill suggested Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, said "there is currently no mechanism for removing a Judge or Justice for violating Rule 4.5."

But that is not what O'Connor said on Oct. 29.

She said there was no mechanism for forcing a justice to recuse himself from pending cases, urging O'Neill to proceed with caution to protect the integrity of the judiciary. As related to the judicial conduct code, O'Connor said "a number of considerations" might be implicated by O'Neill's decision and so she was going to decline comment.

Members of Ohio's seven-member high court are elected on non-partisan ballots. The six besides O'Neill all are Republicans.

Print Article

Read More Politics & Government

Roy Moore accuser says she was not paid to tell her story

AP

November 20, 2017 at 8:18 am | WASHINGTON (AP) A woman accusing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of initiating sexual contact when she was 14 said Monday she was "absolutely not" paid to tell her story publicly. The declar...

Comments

Read More

The Latest: Moore accuser says she wasn't paid to tell story

AP

November 20, 2017 at 7:08 am | WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (all times local): 8 a.m. Leigh Corfman says she was "absolutely not" paid to speak publicly now about her sexual...

Comments

Read More

Keystone XL pipeline faces last major regulatory hurdle

AP

November 20, 2017 at 5:00 am | LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A Nebraska regulator is set to decide whether to approve the proposed route of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline through the state. The decision Monday could have a b...

Comments

Read More

Republican businessman Pensler runs for Senate in Michigan

AP

November 20, 2017 at 5:00 am | LANSING, Mich. (AP) Detroit-area businessman Sandy Pensler is running for Michigan's U.S. Senate seat in 2018. The Republican, whose buyout firm owns manufacturing plants, said Monday he has ha...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X