The Columbus Dispatch‘s Daily Brief Blog reveals Tim Grendell’s “theory” of the case:
With more than 30 years of legal experience, Sen. Timothy J. Grendell thinks he has a good idea why Public Safety Director Cathy Collins-Taylor has been reluctant to take responsibility for canceling a contraband sting at the Governor?s Residence.
?As a lawyer, I know what happened,? Grendell said yesterday. ?Somebody told Collins-Taylor that as a civilian, you could be obstructing justice. But a uniformed officer can?t. So you?ve got to shift this decision from you to Dicken. Unfortunately that makes people have to say things that aren?t consistent with the evidence trail.?
Someone should ask Tim Grendell how many of those thirty years he spent practice law was spent practicing CRIMINAL law. And how many times in that thirty years he was admonished by the Ohio Supreme Court for pursuing frivolous cases.
Because anyone who’s familiar with the obstruction of justice statute would know that Grendell’s theory is crap.
Chairman Grendell, meet the obstruction of justice statute (R.C. 2921.32):
(A) No person, with purpose to hinder the discovery, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another for crime or to assist another to benefit from the commission of a crime, and no person, with purpose to hinder the discovery, apprehension, prosecution, adjudication as a delinquent child, or disposition of a child for an act that if committed by an adult would be a crime or to assist a child to benefit from the commission of an act that if committed by an adult would be a crime, shall do any of the following:
(1) Harbor or conceal the other person or child;
(2) Provide the other person or child with money, transportation, a weapon, a disguise, or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension;
(3) Warn the other person or child of impending discovery or apprehension;
(4) Destroy or conceal physical evidence of the crime or act, or induce any person to withhold testimony or information or to elude legal process summoning the person to testify or supply evidence;
(5) Communicate false information to any person;
(6) Prevent or obstruct any person, by means of force, intimidation, or deception, from performing any act to aid in the discovery, apprehension, or prosecution of the other person or child.
Now meet the statute that defines her job duties (R.C. 5502.011(B)):
“The director also may authorize and approve investigations to be conducted by any of the department?s divisions.”
Never mind you’d be hard pressed to make an argument that Cathy Collins-Taylor alleged conduct, even in a worst case scenario, meets any of the provisions of the obstruction justice statute. Any lawyer with half a brain and any criminal experience would say that the legislature never attended for the criminal justice statute to be abused to criminalize the exercise of legal discretion afforded to law enforcement and prosecutors.
Is Grendell suggesting that Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien is risking possible criminal prosecution if he doesn’t criminally prosecutor Cathy Collins-Taylor? Of course not. So what’s the difference.
Don’t ask Chairman Grendell. He doesn’t have a clue.