News for Appointed Counsel
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water... So this morning I check my email, and there's a few letters that have gotten through my spam-blocker, promising me instant wealth or a larger penis or all the xanax I need -- and, thanks anyway, but if I have the first two I won't be needing the third -- when I come across one from CPMKE@cuyahogacounty.us. It had a memo attached, which you can read here. Basically, if you get appointed on a criminal case, you have to submit a certification -- like this one -- when you submit bill if it's more than $500.
What's it all about, Alfie? Well, it seems that the state legislature passed a law, RC 3517.13, prohibiting state agencies from awarding contracts to persons who've given more than $1,000 to the holder of the office who's responsible for awarding the contract, either within the two years before the contract is awarded, or within a year after.
Now, this isn't going to affect me, because the chances of my giving a judge -- or anyone else, for that matter -- a campaign contribution of $1,000 are slim and none, and Slim just rode out of town. On the other hand, the law is written so that contributions are conglamerated, not only on an individual basis, but on a group basis is well: if you give $250 five times, that's the same as giving $1,250, but if you and each of your four partners gives $250, that's the same as each of you giving $1,250. And that means that the judge you gave it to can't you assign you a case involving more than $500.
Maybe. But maybe not, because you'll notice that the sections which impose the certification requirement also specify that they're "subject to divisions (K), (L), (M), and (N) of this section," and division (M) provides
(1) Divisions (I) and (J) of this section do not apply to contracts awarded by the board of commissioners of the sinking fund, by the supreme court or courts of appeals, by county courts consisting of more than one judge, courts of common pleas consisting of more than one judge, or municipal courts consisting of more than one judge, or by a division of any court if the division consists of more than one judge. This division shall apply to the specified entity only if the members of the entity act collectively in the award of a contract for goods or services.
I'm checking with the court administrator's office now to see whether this does indeed apply to us. In the meantime, make sure to include the certification with fee bills over $500 starting on Monday.