Atty Gen: Republican Judge Slams Montgomery (R) Attack Ad
Betty Montgomery (R-Perrysburg) is running a TV ad that smears State Sen. Marc Dann (D-Liberty Township) for acting as a criminal defense attorney for a man charged with pandering obscenity involving a minor. The ad quotes Dann as saying at the sentencing hearing that the defendant had "good intentions in trying to reach out to the young children in the neighborhood."
Now the trial judge in the case, a registered Republican, is calling the ad "outrageously inappropriate." Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court handled the case. What was left out of the ad was the remainder of Dann's statement, that reaching out to kids is "just not an appropriate role for" the defendant.
Judge Krichbaum told The Youngstown Vindicator that "attack ads on people who represent criminal defendants are done in poor taste and misrepresent what the justice system is all about," and that Dann did an "exemplary job" in the case. A former criminal defense attorney, the judge added "when a campaign tries to degenerate an attorney for a duty performed, it should be frowned upon. It's not what the system is about. Criminal defense attorneys stand up for the constitutional rights of individuals."
The Montgomery campaign defended the ad, saying that Dann has the right to defend a "child molester, but the Montgomery campaign has the right to speak about it." The defendant, however, was neither charged with nor proven to have engaged in child molestation.
Dann said the claim is ridiculous and without merit. Montgomery is "attacking me for doing my job while my criticism is of her not doing her job to expose corruption in state government," Dann said, adding "I'm concerned that good lawyers will be discouraged from running for office" because of Montgomery's attacks."