Monday, January 5, 2009

Gangsta...Rethug-lican Joe Deters

Now that Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters is at the law firm of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley... I swear I can’t help but think of that Tom Cruise movie, THE FIRM. If you haven’t seen that movie or haven’t seen it in a while go rent it. If memory serves me correctly, Tom’s character was the good guy who went to work for the bad guys. In the case of Deters, it’s the bad guy, going to work for the bad guys (In fairness, I had never heard of Chesley’s Law office--although I was aware that Chesley was an attorney. I just assumed he was a one man show). Chinese Wall Lawyers AKA Screens. Is that what Deters and Chesley have become? Or what they need to put up? I’ve been searching around the internet to get a clear understanding of exactly what that term means. As I haven’t found a satisfactory definition, I’m going to mosey on over to the law library to do some research and to chat with my friend. My lawyer friend. So far what I’ve found about Chinese Wall Lawyers or Screens-- “A Chinese wall refers to procedures taken by a firm to prevent information obtained while representing a client from being disclosed to employees in the same firm who represent other clients that may profit from the information. For example, procedures may be enforced within a law firm that separate the firm's departments to restrict access to non-public, material information, in order to avoid the illegal use of inside information.” Question: Why in the hell would the Firm hire Deters, given his reputation as a Pay-to-Play dishonest politician? Why?


Anonymous said...

A Chinese Wall or Screen is a way to keep the conflicts of interests between 2 attorneys or firms (the prosecutor's office is considered a law firm)from violating the rights of clients (as the prosecutor, the clients are the state, the county, the board of commissioners and less directly the public and the victims). The big problem is that Deters' office has been invovled in so much litigation, both criminal and civil, that it would be almost impossible to "screen" him from conflicts with clients represented by Chesley's firm ( which is huge and represents thousands of clients).

Generally, what the law requires is that if Deters' official office is working a case against or for a person who is also represented by Chesleys' firm then there is a conflict of interest and one of the firms and all their employees have to drop the case. An alternative is that if the firm can acquire a waiver from the client - whether that is the BOCC, the state, or any political subdivision or office thereof - then both the prosecutor's office and Chesley's firms can continue to represent their respective parties. Another, less desirable, means of securing the interests of all the clients - IN ADDITION TO THE WAIVER - is to create a "screen" between the employees who are working on the conflicting matters or with conflicting clients so as to assure the attorney-client privilege.
What I want to know is, how is Deters and Chesley going to give assurances that their client/actions lists are not incompatable? And how are the conflicts going to be knowingly waived without the BOCC or prosecutor's office having to engage in a rather time consuming and expensive comparison of client, witness, and issues lists.
Who is going to do this work independently to assure that the interests of the county and the state are being protected?
This isn't some small town where the prosecutor is part time due to a lack of work - this is a major US city/county and Deters' actions present a real and considerable risk to the county taxpayers who will fall liable for undisclosed conflicts.
Deters' job requires that he not only not have any conflicts of interest, but, he must also be beyond reproach when it comes to an "appearance of impropriety" wherein the public would perceive a conflict or benefit to a firm or party in any legal matter.
Deters' needs to resign. Being the Hamilton County Prosecutor is not a part time job - by necessity and his official duties are clearly compromised by the conflicts present in working for a firm the size and scope of Chesley's.

FBK said...

I thank you for your post which reinforces what I know--there is a God that is not that wannabe Demigod Joe Deters. As you have explained it, and from the small amount of research I was able to do, it appears the great wall of Joe Deters will some come crumbling down. As you pointed out this a major town that needs a full-time Prosecutor. I got a call the other day (and she told me that she does not care if I share her daughter’s story--which I will blog about on a later date). The woman stated that she believes her daughter was wrongfully prosecuted and that when she did her research they told her that Deters had blindly signed off on the case. (Does the top Prosecutor have to sign off on cases?) The woman stated that Steve Chabot and the Nation of Islam (strange bed fellows) we’re helping her with the case. It seems to me that clearly the problem that citizens have with Joe Deters is that he always seems to involve himself in “shady” dealings. Or that is to say controversial matters to which the public is outraged.

Our group wants it to happen and I personally believe that it’s coming. Joe-the-Prosecutor is on his way out.

Thank you. There is a God that is not that Demigod.

FBK said...

You wrote "Deters' job requires that he not only not have any conflicts of interest, but, he must also be beyond reproach when it comes to an "appearance of impropriety"

Bingo Deters thinks he is beyound reproach. That in itself is the problem. Seems he thinks he can do anything and the community has no choice but to accept it.

Anonymous said...

I think the Board of Commissioners needs to inquire as to how Deters is going to give assurances that the interests of the county are not compromised, impeded, or liable for any conflicts of interest that may arise.
Not that I want Deters back in his office fulltime - apparently even he feels he is a dispensable drain on the office - I'd like to see him resign entirely and immediately and go to work with Jim Petro, former Ohio AG, who now works for Chesley full time.

FBK said...

Yep. Joe must go! And don't let the door hit him in the behind on the way out.