Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Ohio AG Seeks To Sanction Attorneys Over Vote Challenge
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to sanction four lawyers who handled a legal challenge, later withdrawn, to last year's presidential election in Ohio.
The motion targeting Clifford Arnebeck, Robert Fitrakis, Susan Truitt and Peter Peckarsky was filed Tuesday on behalf of Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's top elections official, said Kim Norris, spokeswoman for Petro.
The motion said the 37 protesters filed a "meritless claim" for "partisan political purposes" and said "a contest proceeding is not a toy for idle hands."
"Instead of evidence, (the lawyers) offered only theory, conjecture, hypothesis, and invective," Petro's office wrote. It said the challenge was filed "only for partisan political purposes."
Arnebeck called the motion frivolous. He said his clients "put in a great deal of evidence in the form of affidavits and sworn testimony."
He accused Blackwell of "stonewalling" and refusing to answer questions as requested in his December court filings.
The challenge was withdrawn last week, with those contesting the election saying it was clear they would be dismissed as moot with Bush set to be inaugurated Thursday.
Ohio's 20 electoral votes went to Bush, who won the state by 118,000 votes over Democratic Sen. John Kerry.
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