The story below originally appeared on the website of the Geauga County Maple Leaf. Our thanks to the Maple Leaf for permission to republish the article here.
The Supreme Court of Ohio’s Board of Professional Conduct has issued a blistering condemnation of Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Tim Grendell’s court administrator for filing a frivolous grievance against Matt Rambo, Grendell’s Republican opponent, “for the purpose of obtaining an advantage for a judicial candidate.”
It also ordered her to cease and desist posting, publishing or broadcasting any reference to her grievance, and to immediately remove all electronic posts and communications referencing the grievance, unless such posts indicate her grievance was dismissed at her cost.
On Feb. 18, Kimberly Laurie filed a grievance against Rambo with the OBPC, a 28-member quasi-judicial body appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio, responsible for, among other things, adjudicating formal complaints of misconduct involving judges and lawyers.
In her complaint, Laurie alleged Rambo violated the Code of Judicial Conduct during the current campaign for Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court judge. She claimed Rambo distributed false statements about his voting history and disseminated a “multitude of false statements” about Grendell.
Ten days later, on Feb. 28, Laurie emailed — from her personal email — area newspapers, including the Geauga County Maple Leaf, Chagrin Valley Times, News-Herald and Plain Dealer, advising that OBPC Director Richard A. Dove had initiated formal disciplinary proceedings against Rambo for violating the rules of judicial conduct.
Days later, the Grendell campaign — Keep Judge Grendell — mailed a postcard to Geauga County voters. On one side of the postcard was a less than flattering black and white photo of Rambo and statements claiming Geauga County could not trust Rambo and that he was facing an ethics complaint and disciplinary action. On the other side, Grendell urged voters to trust him, telling them he has served the bench “ethically and honorably,” and that his service is “beyond reproach.”
Grendell also said, “Our judges should be held to the highest ethical standards.”
On March 6, a three-member OBPC hearing panel unanimously dismissed Laurie’s complaint, finding it was frivolous and filed solely for the purpose of helping Grendell. It also ordered her to pay the costs of the proceedings.
The panel ordered additional sanctions on Laurie.
“The panel further orders (Laurie), her agents, and any judicial campaign committee she has assisted or is assisting to immediately cease and desist from posting, publishing or broadcasting, in any medium, reference to this judicial campaign action that does not include a reference (of) the dismissal of the charged violation at (Laurie’s) cost,” the panel writes in its two-page order.
“The panel further orders (Laurie), her agents, and any campaign committee she has assisted or is assisting to immediately (1) remove any existing electronic posts and communications that reference this judicial campaign action or (2) modify such posts to indicate the dismissal of said action at (Laurie’s) cost.”
Protect Geauga Parks endorses and supports Matt Rambo for Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge in the March 17 Republican Primary election.
Please request a Republican Party ballot and vote for Matt Rambo.
Protect Geauga Parks is a 501(c)4 not-for-profit corporation
This communication is not authorized by any candidate, political party or campaign committee.
I wish the panel would have ordered them to send a post card admitting to what they did. This was such a sleazy move. He should be censured and withdrawn from the race.