Friday, October 23, 2009

For Bris Chortz and Mark Miller: Read the Law

A commenter, known as Bris Chortz, has been defending Mark Miller of COAST for the allegedly false Affidavit filed in Miller's Ohio Ethics Commission complaint against Mayor Mark Mallory.  Bris wanted to claim that my statement was incorrect when I stated filing a false Affidavit was against the law.  Well, I did a little research:
102.06 Powers and duties of ethics commission.
(A) The appropriate ethics commission shall receive and may initiate complaints against persons subject to this chapter concerning conduct alleged to be in violation of this chapter or section 2921.42 or 2921.43 of the Revised Code. All complaints except those by the commission shall be by affidavit made on personal knowledge, subject to the penalties of perjury. Complaints by the commission shall be by affidavit, based upon reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred.

The bold was added to make Bris aware of the law.  I am not making judgment as to Miller's actions, I am however pointing out the fact that I was not wrong and Affidavits in this instance are clearly covered by perjury.  I mean, if they weren't covered by perjury laws, why even have it be a sworn statement?

Sure, Bris and his fellow COAST supporters (I would surmise Bris is a member of COAST, maybe even Miller himself) can quibble over whether Miller knowingly filed a false statement.  Or they can quibble over the meaning of 'false.'  Language to them is fungible after all, judging by how they wrote Issue 9, and then claim it means something other than what it says.  If a perjury violation needs to be considered , then that is a matter for the justice system to determine, not mine.  A prosecutor could be satisfied by questioning Miller or his attorney that if Miller's address is incorrect on the Affidavit, that it was just a typo.  I know I make those all the time, but if I were to make that type
of 'mistake' on an Affidavit, and then release it to the public, I might either check the details and correct it first, or at least note the error.  At a minimum,  I think the OEC should reject the Affidavit on the grounds that it doesn't meet the requirements of a Complaint.  Miller could just reissue a new copy with a corrected address, and may have already done that, but just hasn't published that version.  I'm not going to wait around for anyone from COAST to admit to any mistakes.

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