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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 FitzGerald asks feds to investigate Ohio's new early-voting restrictions Other noon headlines: Absentee voting, Thompson hearing, red lights, casino charges by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
Web Editor M.L. Schultze
Ed FitzGerald is pushing a federal investigation into what he sees as voter suppression. Ohio's Secretary of State Husted says compromise is possible.
FitzGerald asks for federal investigation of alleged voter suppression
Ohio high court considers: What turned Ashford Thompson into a killer?
Ohio Supreme Court sets hearing on red light cameras
Illegal casino charges in Canton
Early voting totals
FitzGerald asks for federal investigation of alleged voter suppression The leader of Ohio's largest county, Cuyahoga, has asked federal investigators to determine if GOP-backed laws are intended to suppress Democratic and minority votes.
Cuyahoga County executive and gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald this morning challenged a new state law barring county elections boards and other public officials from mailing absentee ballot application. He also challenged a budget amendment that would strip 10 percent of local-government funding from counties that violate the law. Cuyahoga County plans a vote tonight asserting that home-rule allows it to mail such applications.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says a reasonable resolution is possible. He says Ohio will mail absentee-ballot applications to all voters, making FitzGerald's proposal redundant and illegal. And he called the House-backed funding cuts unnecessary.
Early voting totals Meanwhile, Husted says about 6,300 people have voted in the first week of early voting in the May primary, and nearly 62,000 have requested absentee ballots.
Ohio high court considers: What turned Ashford Thompson into a killer? The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments this morning on whether Ashford Thompson should be put to death for killing a Twinsburg police officer nearly six years ago. The arguments focused on jurors excluded from his capital murder trial, on Thompson’s history and on a question that’s lingered since July 13, 2008: Why Thompson pulled the gun for which he had a permit and shot Joshua Miktarian four times in the head?.
Justice William O’Neill called the killing tragic. But he noted that, by all accounts Thompson was “a nice young man …”
“… who played varsity sports, put himself through nursing school, was carrying a gun because he was doing nursing in bad neighborhoods. Can you explain to me why the trial court did not seem to address the issue of duress. My understanding is: He ended up with a handcuff on one hand. There’s no question there was a struggle. There’s no question the police officer was threatening him with both weapons and a dog.”
Thompson had originally said the shooting after a traffic stop was in self-defense. Prosecutors say whoever he was before, Thomspon turned into a cold-blooded killer that morning.
Ohio Supreme Court sets hearing on red light cameras The Ohio Supreme Court plans to hear arguments in two months on the use of traffic cameras.
The justices set June 11 for oral arguments in a motorist's challenge of a red-light citation in Toledo. He says the city is bypassing the judiciary and violated his constitutional due process rights. Cities with cameras contend Ohio law allows them to handle such matters administratively. They also defend cameras as stretching police resources and making communities safer.
Justice Terrence O'Donnell removed himself from the case for an unspecified potential conflict. An appeals judge will fill in.
Illegal casino charges in Canton Three residents have been charged with running a million-dollar-plus illegal casino in Canton – complete with 200 slot machines.
The federal charges accuse Jerry Warren, Tracie Warren-Pastore and Yabacushyanei Bennett of conspiracy to conduct an illegal gambling business and money laundering. Prosecutors want the trio to forfeit $1.3 million in cash and a four luxury cars, including a Jaguar.
They say the illegal casino operated for five years and had gross revenues of $2,000 or more a day.