January 19, 2005

Sanctions Motion Brought By Ohio Attorney General Against Election Contest Litigation Lawyers

The Free Press reports that the Ohio Attorney General has brought a sanctions motion against the lawyers who represented the voters in the Ohio election contest case:

Ohio's GOP Attorney-General launches revenge attack on Election Protection legal team

by Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman

January 19, 2005

COLUMBUS -- In a stunning legal attack, Ohio's Republican Attorney-General has moved for censure against the four attorneys who sued George W. Bush et. al. in an attempt to investigate the Buckeye State's bitterly contested November 2 election.

Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt, Cliff Arnebeck and Peter Peckowsky were named by Attorney-General James Petro in a filing with the Ohio Supreme Court. Petro charges the November Moss v Bush and Moss v. Moyer filings by the Election Protection legal team were "frivolous". Petro is demanding official censure and fines.

"Instead of evidence, Contesters offered only theory, conjecture, hypothesis and invective," the attorney general's January 18th memo in support of the suit said. "A contest proceeding is not a toy for idle hands. It is not to be sued to make a political point, or to be used as a discovery tool, or be used to inconvenience or harass public officials, or to be used as a publicity gimmick."

But Cliff Arnebeck says it has been Petro and Ohio's partisan Republican Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who have stonewalled the election challenge legal proceedings. Both have refused to submit any evidence to the court to refute the allegations in the election challenge case - claiming George W. Bush did not win a majority in Ohio - and Petro's office has also refused to allow any Ohio public election official to be deposed.

"Their cage has been rattled and they popped their cork," Arnebeck said. "The chairman of the Ohio Republican Party is going berserk because he can't stand the fact we are not going away. We are still pursuing the legal investigation and the legal interrogations. They are just besides themselves because they cannot withstand cross examination."

Full article.

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