► Akron Beacon Journal – 08/08/01: Board clears Justice Moyer Print E-mail

Akron Beacon Journal – 08/08/01: Board clears Justice Moyer

Doug Oplinger, Beacon Journal staff writer

COLUMBUS: A complaint against Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Moyer that he violated judicial campaign ethics has been dismissed by the court's grievances and discipline board.


David Palmer, a retired Toledo businessman, filed a complaint in May alleging that Moyer violated judicial canons when he attended a Republican Party event this year and, in a backhanded way, urged support for Supreme Court candidate Terrence O'Donnell.

Judges are not permitted to endorse or oppose other judicial candidates.


O'Donnell is running against incumbent Justice Alice Robie Resnick, who has been targeted by business leaders and the Republican Party because of her opposition to tort reform and her position that state leaders have not provided an adequate system of public education.


Republicans made it clear that a defeat of Resnick by O'Donnell is expected to tip the scale on the court on those key issues.


The grievances and discipline board that looked at Moyer's statements said: "There is not sufficient cause to warrant a further investigation." It was signed by three appeals court judges.


Palmer said yesterday that little evidence is needed to warrant an investigation. Moyer's admission that he spoke on O'Donnell's behalf should have been enough.


He called it a "whitewash" by a panel of judges who want to protect their chances of being appointed to other positions.

Moyer's defense was that he was not aware that a newspaper reporter was in the meeting when he spoke. Otherwise, the meeting would have been private, and his comments would have not constituted a public endorsement.


Moyer said yesterday that he was "pleased that they dismissed the complaint."


He also said that Palmer, a retired restaurateur, has been attacking him for about three years. Palmer has been locked in a battle with judges and attorneys over an insurance settlement his wife received after an accident in 1997 that left her disabled.


In some of the cases, the judges had been appointed by Moyer as visiting judges.


Palmer's wife was permanently disabled in the accident. He now spends time at home with her and researching judges and lawyers.


Palmer runs an organization called "The Committee to Expose Dishonest and Incompetent Attorneys and Judges" and has researched expense reports and time sheets of lawyers and judges in an attempt to expose abuse. His Web site is http://www.amoralethics.com. Now he is in a feud with the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court for offering free legal advice, which he advertises on his letterhead.


The court is charging him with "unauthorized practice of law" and subpoenaed him to a hearing 10 days ago.

He refused to attend, despite threats that he would be found in contempt of court.


He responded with a long letter detailing the number of times he had been authorized by judges to act as his wife's attorney.


Doug Oplinger can be reached at 330-996-3750 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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