Monday, March 21, 2011

Brown County News: Thanks to Ohio Supremes, Dennis the Menace is Back

Dennis Varnau has gained relevance again. This time, the culprit is the Ohio Supreme Court. They have kicked his repeatedly smacked down claims of lack of qualifications by Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger back to the 12th district court of appeals. From the Brown County Press:
The legal battle between Dennis Varnau and Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger has taken another turn.

The Ohio Supreme Court has reversed a decision by the 12th Ohio Court of Appeals, ordering the appeals court to rule on Varnau's effort to oust Wenninger from office.

Last August, the appeals court ruled in Wenningers favor, denying a writ of "Quo Warranto" to Varnau.

Such a writ is the legal procedure to remove an individual from public office.he appeals court ruled that since the Brown County Board of Elections had previously certified Wenninger as a candidate, Varnau had no standing to request a Quo Warranto ruling.

The Supreme Court decision means that the appeals court will now decide the case on its merits.

Varnau is claiming that Wenninger was not certified as a law enforcement officer in 2000 and was therefore not a lawful candidate for Sheriff.

He further claims that this lack of certification carries forward to the elections of 2004 and 2008, making Wenninger an unlawful candidate in them as well.

Wenninger told the Brown County Press last August that all of his certifications are up to date and that he is fully qualified to serve as Sheriff.

Varnau protested Wenninger's candidacy to the Brown County Board of Elections in 2008, when he ran as an independent candidate.

The ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court said "...the board of elections denied the protest, because, among other reasons, it was not filed by a member of the appropriate (political) party."

Varnau was running as an independent, and not a member of a political party.

Varnau responded by filing papers in Brown County Common Pleas Court to force the board of elections to accept his protest.

The court denied his request, ruling that Varnau's protest was not "filed by a qualified elector who is a member of the same political party as the candidate..."

Varnau appealed to the 12th District Court of Appeals which ruled in Wenninger's favor.

The Ohio Supreme Court now says the appeals court was wrong and must rule on Varnau's writ of Quo Warranto.

A key part of the Supreme Court ruling rests in the fact that the board of elections did not hold a hearing to hear Varnau's case.

Without such a hearing, the Supreme Court says, the boards ruling lacks the authority that the appeals court cited when ruling against Varnau.

There is no word on when the issue will be reexamined by the 12th District Court of Appeals.

Varnau says that if Wenninger is found to be unqualified, then Dennis should be made sheriff.

To me, this shows you that this is not about justice. If it were, then KO Martin or Buddy Coburn should be named sheriff, not Varnau. However, this shows that Dennis is in this for Dennis, not justice.

And, this stuff has been heard again and again. Enough already.