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Ohio Supreme Court rules against Grendell

From the Geauga Times Courier

http://www.chagrinvalleytoday.com/editions/geauga_times_courier/article_2b0dac9c-1f07-11ed-8194-d394bb554f1c.html

State Supreme Court rules against Grendell | Geauga Times Courier | chagrinvalleytoday.comWith several unpaid invoices stuck in limbo, Judge Grendell sought relief from the Ohio Supreme Court, which ultmately ruled in his favor after the state legislature – led by his wife, State Rep. Diane Grendell – changed the law forcing Mr. Walder to pay the invoices, but allowing him to do so “under protest,” which removed his personal liability from paying invoices he otherwise …www.chagrinvalleytoday.com

Chagrin Valley Times

by Anastasia Nicholas

August 18, 2022

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled against Geauga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Timothy Grendell late Wednesday in his request to hire outside counsel to assist in his ongoing conflict with Geauga County Auditor Chuck Walder.

Judge Grendell and Geauga Park District lawyers sought intervention from the state Supreme Court earlier this year when Mr. Walder refused to pay several invoices submitted by the judge and instead began to include those documents, as well as park district documents, on a new “Public Transparency” tab on the county auditor’s website.

At the time, Mr. Walder cited several different reasons for protesting the payments, such as missing copies of the invoices and incorrect addresses, dates, and account numbers.

With several unpaid invoices stuck in limbo, Judge Grendell sought relief from the Ohio Supreme Court, which ultmately ruled in his favor after the state legislature – led by his wife, State Rep. Diane Grendell – changed the law forcing Mr. Walder to pay the invoices, but allowing him to do so “under protest,” which removed his personal liability from paying invoices he otherwise deemed improroper.

Once the Supreme Court issued its ruling, Mr. Walder said he began paying the protested invoices, which – to date – total nearly $100,000.

Unhappy with Mr. Walder’s decision to include the challenged invoices online and for his issuance of a press release following the Court’s initial decision earlier this year, Judge Grendell sought to hire outside counsel to address the issues.

That press release included Mr. Walder’s opinion that “it was not in the best interest of the taxpayers of Ohio because it basically gave an open checkbook to courts,” Mr. Walder said.

The ruling Wednesday rejected Judge Grendell’s request calling Judge Grendell’s argument “unpersuasive.”

Mr. Walder said he was pleased by the Supreme Court ruling, calling it a “good sign.”

“The taxpayers, specifically in Geauga County, have sent a message loud and clear that they are tiring of this nonsense,” said Mr. Walder. “They think we should have checks and balances and they are deserving of them. That message was heard in Columbus. It was heard when they saw the statistics at the polls. If the election had gone a different way, you may have seen a different outcome.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Walder defeated Judge Grendell’s wife, Diane, in a race for county auditor, which she said she entered, among other reasons, because of the auditor’s refusal to authorize payments from her husband.

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