715 N.E.2d 630 (Ohio Co. 1999), 99-CRB-002-0091, State v. Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 2347

Docket Nº:99-CRB-002-0091.
Citation:715 N.E.2d 630, 99 Ohio Misc.2d 33, 1999-Ohio-179
Opinion Judge:JONATHAN P. HEIN, Judge.
Party Name:The STATE of Ohio v. FRATERNAL ORDER OF EAGLES, AERIE 2347.
Attorney:Jesse J. Green, Darke County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for plaintiff.
Case Date:March 30, 1999
Court:County Court of Ohio
 
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Page 630

715 N.E.2d 630 (Ohio Co. 1999)

99 Ohio Misc.2d 33, 1999-Ohio-179

The STATE of Ohio

v.

FRATERNAL ORDER OF EAGLES, AERIE 2347.

No. 99-CRB-002-0091.

Darke County Court of Ohio.

March 30, 1999.

Page 631

[99 Ohio Misc.2d 34] Jesse J. Green, Darke County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for plaintiff.

JONATHAN P. HEIN, Judge.

This matter came before the court upon motion of the state of Ohio for removal of Judge Gene R. Hoellrich from hearing the above-captioned case. The motion was supported by the affidavit of disqualification filed by Jesse J. Green, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Both Judge Hoellrich and Green were provided an opportunity to present evidence or argue the merits of the motion and both[99 Ohio Misc.2d 35] declined. At this court's request, a complete transcript of the proceedings described herein was provided.

This motion was filed pursuant to R.C. 2701.031, which provides the mechanism for a consideration of these motions, including a review of the merits of the motion and supporting affidavit by the judge of the court of common pleas.

The affidavit of Green provides a portion of the transcript of sentencing held by Judge Hoellrich on March 16, 1999, wherein the judge fined certain defendants the sum of $1.00 plus costs of approximately $60 following their conviction for violating the gambling statute, R.C. 2915.02. The state of Ohio asserts that Judge Hoellrich should be removed from hearing the pending cases, since he verbalized bias or prejudice (presumably against the state of Ohio) when he made the following comments at sentencing in the prior cases:

"[The judge] would defy anybody in the State of Ohio to claim that eh [sic] biggest gambling house in Ohio isn't run by the State of Ohio. Basically, what this is about is the State wants to submerge its competition, and I want to send that message to the State of Ohio. So I am going to impose a fine of one dollar. If the State wants to run the biggest gambling house in the State of Ohio, don't come in this court and try to tell me of this harmful conduct. Is it harmful conduct? Yes, I believe it is. I believe it is harmful conduct to gamble. But in the context of the State running the biggest gambling house in the State, I find it morally repugnant for me to be an agent of the State to do nothing more than simply submerge its competition ... [b]ut I want to send a message to the...

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