Professional football and hockey, male-dominated institutions that celebrate professional violence, are suddenly and earnestly confronting their long-festering problems of family violence.
Too bad Ohio continues to do so little when confronted with politicians facing similar patterns of similar acts.
Back in 2011, Plunderbund took the lead in reporting a 911 call that Melissa Jordan made when her husband, state Sen. Kris Jordan, became violent.
A video showed Mrs. Jordan telling deputies, “This is not new, he’s done this numerous times…. I can’t tell you how many things he’s busted and broken, destroying things in fits of anger” and she worries that when the officers leave “he’s going to break my phone.” About 2 years ago it started getting “violent and physical”, she said. “He started pushing me” and “he has bruised me in the past.”
She chose not to file changes. Most Sen. Jordans Republicans who rule the Ohio General Assembly chose to say or do nothing.
Then-Senate President Tom Niehaus had nothing to say on the topic. House Speaker William Batchelder, a Medina Republican, had the bad sense to praise BOTH Jordans.
Last week, the Dayton Daily News told of yet another Republican politician, Montgomery County Commission candidate Mike Nolan, who was accused of shoving his then-wife and breaking a window at their home while carrying a knife. The incident, which occurred in 1987, had not been reported before. According to the newspaper:
“On the night of the incident, Judith DiCosta, Nolan’s wife at the time, told police he first broke a window, then entered through the front door after a man who was inside left the home to find a phone and call police. DiCosta said her own phone wasn’t working.
Nolan had a knife in his possession, DiCosta told police, but he laid it down once he came inside, the report said.
DiCosta said Nolan pushed her around and then picked her up and told their two daughters — ages eight and six — to get in the car because they were leaving. The police report indicates she had a bruise above her left eye.
Nolan, a former Deputy Chief in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office, should know better. Still, he offered this anger-laden response:
“It is disheartening that with all the problems in Montgomery County — drugs, crime, gangs and the lack of jobs — the Democrats and the Dayton Daily News have focused on an incident the occurred almost 30 years ago,” Nolan wrote in an e-mail. “I resent their questioning my more than 30 years in law enforcement and public service.”
The public’s response was disheartening. The majority of the online comments lashed out at the newspaper, most insisting that the information was old and the case never prosecuted.
Here is why it’s relevant: The county commission helps fund domestic violence services in a state known for barely funding them at all. And since Nolan brought up his “more than 30 years in law enforcement and public service,” it’s fair to note that his judgment has been in question on several high-profile occasions before, especially on the topic of women.
During his time on the Miami Twp. Board of Trustees, the township paid $100,000 to the family of a 17-year-old girl who was naked when she was hosed down, four times, by a deputy after she was arrested and pepper-sprayed. The deputy also secretly snapped a picture of the girl’s tattoo with his cell phone.
The controversy made headlines for months, and Trustees eventually announced the settlement.
According to the Daily News:
“The township acted appropriately to an unfortunate situation,” Miami Twp. Board of Trustees President Mike Nolan said in a prepared release when the settlement was announced. “We now consider the matter resolved and have moved forward.”
“Unfortunate’? A bit of an understatement.
Compare his unfortunate comment to those made recently by Dean Lombardi, the general manager of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team – one day after defenseman Slava Voynov was accused of domestic violence and was subsequently suspended indefinitely by the N.H.L.
According to the New York Times, Lombardi found himself wondering why he, and the N.H.L., had not done more to confront the issue. The NHL, much like other professional sports leagues, would usually wait until the legal process played out. Those standards no longer apply. Now, the league is conducting its own investigation, along with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
“This is as much about our organization’s responsibility. We’ve got an obligation here, too,’’ he said. “We need to do a better job. That’s just the truth. I don’t care if that’s indicting ourselves.”
When Ohio falls behind the NFL and NHL on DV matters, something is terribly wrong.