► Dayton Daily News – 12/29/0505 – Panel reprimands justice Resnick for DUI conviction deplored as professional misconduct Print E-mail

Dayton Daily News – Dec, 29 2005 – Panel reprimands justice Resnick for DUI conviction deplored as professional misconduct


COLUMBUS -- A special disciplinary panel publicly reprimanded Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick on Wednesday for professional misconduct arising from her arrest and conviction for drunken driving.
"I have accepted responsibility for the incident which took place on Jan. 31," Resnick said in a written statement. "Today, I can put the matter behind me and move forward with the important work of the Ohio Supreme Court."
Resnick did not take media calls at her Toledo home Wednesday.
It is unclear whether she will run for re-election next year. Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Brian Rothenberg said Resnick is expected to announce her plans before the Feb. 16 filing deadline.
Resnick, 66, has served on the state supreme court since 1988. She is now the only Democrat elected to statewide office.
Resnick was stopped Jan. 31 in Wood County while driving a stateissued car erratically on Interstate 75. She refused to take a Breathalyzer test, denied she had been drinking and pleaded with officers to let her go.
She eventually took a roadside breath test -- not admissible in court -- that registered a 0.216 blood alcohol content. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.
A week later, she pleaded guilty to drunken driving and was sentenced to three days in an alcohol-treatment program, $1,000 fine with $500 suspended, two years probation and six months without a driver's license.
David Palmer, a court watchdog, filed the initial disciplinary complaint against Resnick.
Thirteen Ohio Court of Appeals judges sat on the disciplinary panel in place of the Supreme Court, since the charge was against a sitting justice. Eight of the 13 agreed with the findings and recommendation made by Dayton attorney Jeff McQuiston, who was appointed investigator in the case.
The chief justice of the Court of Appeals, Judge Mike Fain of Dayton, wrote in a concurring opinion, joined by four other judges, that McQuiston's report did not cite as an aggravating factor Resnick's comments to the arresting officer captured on the Ohio Highway Patrol's videotape. She told officers at the scene that she was a Supreme Court justice and commented, "My God, you know, I decide all these cases in their favor and my golly and look at what they're doing to me."
McQuiston said patrol officers told him they didn't believe Resnick was trying to use her position to influence their investigation.
Resnick admitted her drunken driving offense violated judicial canons that require judges respect and comply with the law and act in a matter that promotes public confidence in the judiciary.
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