Judge Michael Caldwell
The on-again, off-again Friday hearing for the Grafton Township separation of powers case ended up being held in Judge Michael Caldwell’s courtroom.
It was one of the most unsatisfying hearings I have ever attended because it was impossible to hear what was being said.
Attorneys not at the bench were conversing, as were some audience members.
I got some snippets as Ancel Glink’s Thomas DiCianni started the proceedings.
“We’ve read your opinion. (It was very) thorough, but (there are) a few questions.
Then the volume was so low that virtually nothing could not be heard.
First he mentioned a topic which he said, (we?) “don’t know if we took that possibility…”
Your guess as to what he said sitting in front of your computer is as good as mine sitting in the courtroom.
All of his second point I heard was, “ordered Supervisor…Did not enter.”
John Nelson, Linda Moore’s attorney said the word “every” and some others that were inaudible.
DiCianni: “I think the statute uses ‘audit.’”
And, “What could be the purpose?”
Judge Caldwell, facing the audience could be heard to say, “Pay the bills if there is money available.”
Nelson mentioned something with the phrase, “some of these bills,” in it.
Caldwell alluded to the state’s financial situation. I heard, “What part the state in the financial situation it is in.” There was no way to figure out the context. Township government isn’t subsidized by state government, except for its share of Motor Fuel Taxes.
Nelson mentioned “checks and balances.”
Then, “…can’t have the board pay bills without the Supervisor bringing it to (them).”
“We will have to re-visit it, the three of us,” reached my ears from Judge Caldwell.
The Trustees’ attorney then asked for a “time line for plaintiff’s actions,” referring, it seems to Moore’s bringing records back to the township office and providing read only access to township financial records.
“You order some relief that’s not contained in the order section,” DiCianni pointed out. “It has to do with the records.”
Another hearing was sought in mid-January to which the Judge agreed.
“The Board has the power to advise and consent. That approval should not be…” Caldwell said, but I could not catch the rest. “Advice and consent” was mentioned in the court decision concerning selection of a township attorney, which, after the decision’s dismissal of Ancel Glink, is not in place.
More fragments from the Judge:
“The reality is…”
“Have the parties…”
At this point Trustee Gerry McMahon walked in the courtroom to join Trustees Barbara Murphy and Betty Zirk, who were present from the beginning.
Supervisor Linda Moore was present from the beginning. Her husband David came in while I was taking notes.
The altercation outside the township meeting between McMahon and David Moore was being considered in another courtroom. I learned later that that trial date will be April 4th.