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November Middletown Judge Election

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Richard Saunders View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Saunders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: November Middletown Judge Election
    Posted: Sep 05 2017 at 1:54pm
Here are a couple of things to consider during this November's election for Middletown Municipal Judge:

Perhaps you've seen some signs around town for one of the candidates, Elizabeth Yauch?  Well, these signs have been placed well over SIXTY DAYS prior to election day, November 7!  There is a Middletown municipal ordinance that FORBIDS campaign signs prior to THIRTY DAYS prior to the election.

Whether this woman is ignorant of our city ordinances or just chooses to flagrantly violate one of them, is that the type of person that you want judging YOU when YOU get hauled into court for violating a city ordinance?

Why aren't City employees removing these illegal signs as they have in the past with both legal and illegal signs of the administration's non-preferred candidates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 05 2017 at 3:02pm
Not to worry Richard. All we need to do is consult our esteemed Law DIErector, Leslie Landen. He has made critical calls like this in the past as to the interpretation of the city laws.

As in the past, it will depend on how Les sees it. On occasion, he has actually used the laws on the books while at other times, he has ruled in favor of the given situation which may or may not contradict city law. At times, his ruling appears to be at the convenience of the situation.

I'm sure, if old Les is approached, he will take at least 30 days for a legal call which will put the judge candidates signs in compliance and it will no longer be an issue.   

Remember, as in the past, if the message/candidate for any sign is anti-city, it will be removed post haste. If the message/candidate is pro-city sanctioned, there are no time limits as to it's lifespan. Hey, it's city hall non-biased thinking at it's finest.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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SKA11 View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SKA11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 11 2017 at 9:13pm
The Ohio and US Supreme Courts have found it is unconstitutional to limit free speech when it comes to political signs. That is why no one is enforcing the election sign law in the Middletown Ordinances.   Do you recall last year when there were Trump and Clinton signs up from March until December? That is why they were allowed to remain up for such a long period of time.
So, I would prefer a judge that knows the laws and knows what is constitutional and what is not. That is why I am voting for Beth Yauch for Middletown Municipal Court Judge.

Here are the decisions: https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2000/2000-ohio-488.pdf
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whistlersmom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 12 2017 at 9:39am

 We might want to investigate whether the city ordinance concerning election sign law continued to be applied after the Ohio and Supreme Courts ruling in 2000. I know of some candidates in city races (after 2000) for council and mayor whose signs (which were in compliance) were confiscated wherever they were found all over town. That confiscation was selectively applied to opponents of choice. This is not only dirty politics, it may have had a direct influence on the outcome of the election.

Of the several lawyers we have in city hall including City Manager Doug Adkins, Law Director Les Landen and Councilman Picard, surely someone was aware of the conflicting city ordinance. Or did they know? Or did they care?

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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whistlersmom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 22 2017 at 8:05pm

This ¼ page disclaimer from the Butler County Prosecutor’s office appeared in the Journal-News on 10/18/17. The Butler County Prosecutor says “I am writing to make it perfectly clear that my office had no participation in the victim claim”… that she was re-victimized by the justice system and it all took place in a Middletown Municipal Court. Read it for yourself and read the October 10, 2017 article that prompted the Butler County Prosecutor to respond with this disclaimer.


On October 10, 2017, Laura A. Bischoff wrote a front page Journal-News article regarding proposed Marsy's Law which included the comment of an alleged victim who stated she pressed charges in Butler County and claimed victimization by the justice system.  She claimed that as a victim "she was shocked to learn that the prosecution and defense team agreed that she should undergo a videotaped competency hearing."  When I read this story I was equally shocked because my office of Butler County Prosecutor never agreed to any such request and learned that the request was made only in the Middletown Municipal Court by a defense attorney and the City Prosecutor never agreed to it nor was the motion ever acted upon by the Middletown Municipal Court Judge.  The Middletown prosecutor is not employed by me and I do not prosecute in the Middletown Municipal Court.  Thus, I am writing to make it perfectly clear that my office had no participation in the victim claim and further that I have one of the best victim advocacy programs in the State of Ohio.  I have five full-time victim advocates who are dedicated to seeing victims though the legal process from start to finish and even after.  Any suggestion otherwise can have a chilling effect on victims coming forward and when that happens - justice falls and ;the public is less safe.

Michael T Gmoser

Butler County Prosecutor

JOURNAL-NEWS  article October 10, 2017


Victims’ rights issue on ballot

Five states already have adopted Marsy’s Law, nine are considering it.

By Laura A. Bischoff
Columbus bureau

COLUMBUS — When Dani Brewer pressed assault charges in Butler County in 2015, she was shocked to learn the prosecution and defense team agreed that she should undergo a videotaped competency hearing.

Brewer said she felt like she was being re-victimized by the court system. With assistance from Women Helping Women and the Ohio Crime Victims Justice Center, Brewer pushed back.

Now 50, Brewer says her experience in 2015 highlights the need for Marsy’s Law, a proposed constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot to beef up rights for crime victims in cases pending in the adult and juvenile system.

I feel like it would have given me a voice. It would have given me a reference point to say ‘This is not how it works.’ I mean, I had no footing,” she said.

State Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment, would give victims or anyone harmed by a crime the right to receive notifications, give input in court proceedings and receive full and timely restitution. Victims also would be allowed to refuse discovery requests made by the defense, be guaranteed privacy and reasonable protection, and have a right to “prompt conclusion of the case.”

Henry T. Nicholas, III, a California billionaire, is bankrolling the campaign and the issue is named after his sister, Marsalee, who was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in California in 1983. Voters in California, Illinois, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have adopted Marsy’s Law and the group is pushing ballot initiatives in nine more states this fall, including Ohio.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, a Republican who is running for governor, is co-chairman of the campaign.

The amendment does have opposition. Two groups that often oppose each other — the Ohio Public Defender and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association — say state law already provides protections for crime victims, and they argue that State Issue 1 has the potential to add costs and delays to the criminal justice system.

Brewer disagrees. “Clearly there is not enough in place. I had nothing. I had to search for Women Helping Women. A mutual friend put me in touch with the Ohio Crime Victims Justice Center. It’s just an additional layer of protection. What’s wrong with that?”

Among others backing the amendment are the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, and 13 individual county prosecutors.

Serious flaws?

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association issued a two-page statement, outlining what it sees as serious flaws with the proposed amendment.

One is that it says the issue is so broadly defined it’s not clear whether victims would be eligible for the taxpayer-funded counsel now available only to indigent defendants.

Marsy’s Law places victims on equal footing with defendants,” said Lou Tobin, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association. “If this is so, one possible unintended consequence is that the victim could have the right to an attorney. The OPAA feels that this is unnecessary, will create delays and disruptions, and could prove expensive to the taxpayer if it is determined that indigent victims have the right to appointed counsel.”

Ohio Public Defender Tim Young said the issue would allow victims to refuse the defense’s request for evidence, documents and testimony in some circumstances.

Issue 1 conflicts with essential guarantees in the Bill of Rights, including double jeopardy, confrontation and speedy trial — rights fundamental to our founders,” Young said. “This amendment will result in increased litigation, increased costs to taxpayers, and will delay cases, only hurting victims.”

Laws not enforced

Marsy’s Law Ohio campaign spokesman Aaron Marshall said existing protections for crime victims aren’t uniformly applied across the state. “The reality of it is, it’s not being enforced,” he said.

The proposed constitutional amendment would put victims and defendants on equal footing and give victims the right to a prompt conclusion of the cases, he said.

Crime victims want cases to wrap up,” said Marshall. “They want to move on with their lives.”

Marshall objected to some of the comments about the amendment’s impact, saying victims who are indigent won’t be entitled to appointed counsel, as stated by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association. He also denied the amendment would interfere with the right to appeals for people convicted in death penalty cases, which has been suggested by some.

Advocates for Marsy’s Law are mounting a serious campaign, including multiple television commercials that feature crime victims who feel they were mistreated or unheard.

The No. 1 thing’

After his sister’s murder, the Cincinnati-born Nicholas became a vocal supporter of victim’s rights, beginning in California, where voters approved Marsy’s Law in 2008.

In Ohio, Nicholas has bankrolled the Marsy’s Law campaign, shelling out $2.9 million of the $3 million raised. Forbes.com this year estimated that Nicholas, the co-founder of Broadcom Corp., has a net worth at $3.4 billion.

Application of the laws hasn’t always been smooth. In California, it was disrupted by federal court intervention and a long-standing tug-of-war over prison overcrowding and criminal sentencing reforms.

It’s a staple in our courts now,” said Todd Riebe, president of the California District Attorneys Association.

Riebe is a supporter.

The best thing about it is it elevated victim rights to a constitutional level. That was the No. 1 thing that it did,” he said. “There are problems with it. They didn’t look at all the subject matter experts and they should have. When they wrote this thing it could have been a lot better, more clear.”

But, he added, “Overall, I think prosecutors everywhere stand by Marsy’s Law, regardless of their political affiliation, and adhere to it.”

Contact this reporter at 614-224-1624 or email Laura.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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whistlersmom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whistlersmom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 02 2017 at 5:44pm

Journal-News Wednesday November 1, 2017. See comments in red.


Middletown chief: Judge not publicly backed

Candidate on Facebook cites endorsement from top police officer.

By Ed Richter
Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown’s police chief won’t ask a candidate for Municipal Court judge to remove a reference on Face-book that cites his endorsement, despite saying that he has not publicly endorsed her.

Incumbent Judge Melynda Cook Howard lists Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw as a public official who has endorsed her on her campaign’s Facebook page.

I’m a citizen and I have an opinion just like anyone else,” Muterspaw told this news outlet, adding that does not publicly endorse candidates for city council or for judicial races and has not publicly endorsed Cook Howard. “I have to be careful about what I say publicly. All I care about is keeping Middletown safe.”

However, he said he has not asked Cook Howard to delete the endorsement from her campaign Facebook page “because I do support her and she’s doing a great job. I just can’t endorse her publicly.”

I don’t want my officers to be in a tough spot over a council or judge election and I don’t like to see our officers being pulled into these things,” Muterspaw said.

Also listed on Cook Howard’s campaign Facebook page is an endorsement from Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli.

It’s a non-partisan race,” Lolli said. “We can participate as long as it’s non-partisan.”

In addition to the list of endorsements, the Facebook page also has a photograph of Cook Howard sitting at the court bench with Muterspaw and Lolli, both in uniform, and several police officers.

Cook-Howard said she’s endorsed by the Middletown Firefighters union, and the Fraternal Order of Police lodges representing Middletown police officers and Butler County Sheriff’s deputies.

She also said the other endorsements “are clearly defined by the chiefs by their own words and support.”

The Facebook page also includes a photo of Cook Howard and Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones, but there was no endorsement listed.

Jones said he takes a lot of photos with a lot of people.

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t,” he said of endorsing political candidates. “I have not endorsed or given my support to any candidate in the Middletown (Municipal Court judge) race. I don’t know if endorsements actually help now, but it beats a poke in the eye. I get along with everyone who is running.”

Cook Howard, who was appointed in May by Gov. John Kasich to replace the late Judge Mark Wall, is running to retain the seat. Also running are local attorneys James Sherron and Elizabeth Yauch.


A candidate for Municipal Court judge is facing an ethics hearing for alleged improper campaign practices. Attorney James Sherron, who is one of three people running for the seat of the late Judge Mark Wall, is scheduled to have a hearing Wednesday before a three-member panel of the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct. The complaints concern Sherron’s resume, which states he is licensed to practice in all federal courts, as well as a fundraiser invitation that alleges he implied he was Middletown Municipal Court judge. Judge Melynda Cook Howard, who was appointed to the open seat by Gov. John Kasich after Wall’s death, filed the complaint along with Marilyn Hatfield, who is a member of the Butler County GOP Central Committee. In addition to Cook Howard, also running for the judgeship is local attorney Elizabeth Yauch.

Contact this reporter at

513-755-5067 or email


Chief Muterspaw may say that he has not publicly endorsed Ms. Cook-Howard (for municipal judge) but his photo with her and the Fire Chief Lolli, in her campaign materials says something quite the opposite. And he has not asked (her) to delete the endorsement from her campaign Facebook page “because I do support her ...” He also says “I don’t want my officers to be in a tough spot … and I don’t like to see our officers being pulled into these things.” If he had that in mind then why did he allow himself to be used in a manner to cause this problem for our officers?

Notice of the ethics hearing for alleged improper campaign practices by candidate James Sherron may result in voters choosing the third candidate at the ballot box.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke
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buddhalite View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 02 2017 at 10:15pm
You know - I'm just about tired of this whole judge race.  If you already know who you are voting for and don't want to entertain any kind of reason - just stop reading now.   You've been warned.....

Frankly, Sherron should have been the guy that our Governor appointed, but in his usual fashion - for whatever reason - he appointed Cook-Howard.  It might be the tax crap (that was resolved) but who knows.....

If you had been at the candidate forum - if you had seen the arrogance, the unprofessionalism and the overall aggressiveness at a semi-permanent grasp of power that the two female candidates who were like two rabid dogs on HGH were putting on - you'd realize that neither of them at their core really have the proper temperament to be a proper judge.  At least not any judge I'd ever like to face.

I don't know any of the candidates - and only met Sherron in the elevator trying to get out of One Donham Albatross - but after 3 minutes of speaking with him - I was EXTREMELY impressed by his candor, compassion and comfort in explaining what he thinks it means to be a judge.

I wholeheartedly express my endorsement (I know, I know - none of you really care what I think....) for Sherron and I hope that if I ever have to face a judge in that court for any reason as defendant, witness or otherwise, I want to face HIM.  He's not a power hungry man with something to prove.....I really believe he's a man cut from the same cloth as Judge Wall and is the absolute perfect fit for our community.

The gals really put on a show - and showed something that I almost couldn't bear to watch, especially at the end.  We need calm, cool, level-headed judges who apply the law with reason, compassion and for the betterment of our community - not for personal stature.

Ok - go ahead - give me your best shots! :-)
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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