Saturday, November 25, 2006

Best of Dan Kasaris...

“Special Prosecutor” Daniel Kasaris Blows Lid
Thursday, June 16, 2005, 08:16 PM
“Special Prosecutor” Daniel Kasaris Blows Lid

Yes, today’s arraignment was very disturbing. We got to see an assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor flip out simply because a journalist was recording him. Beware, EV readers, when the government has a problem with the first amendment.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Dan Kasaris, after being handpicked by Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter to prosecute Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner on felony fleeing and “grand theft auto” charges, scurried out of a meeting between Bailiff Tom McGowen, Dr. Elsebeth Baumgartner, Jack Vogel, and myself.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the scheduling of a pre-trial in Baumgartner’s case – a case she alleges is illegal right out of the gate because Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter has manipulated the special prosecutor appointment in order to affect the case outcome. She alleges that the current system of “appointing” special prosecutors by the Erie County Prosecutor is illegal because Baxter is using a quid pro quo system to over or under prosecute political cases. (In the legal industry they call it a “case fix.) Obviously, Baxter’s conduct is illegal and unethical and should be denounced by anyone who still believes in justice in Erie County.

Elsebeth Baumgartner waived her right to a private meeting and invited me into an adjacent room to Court Room #4. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I thought it would be interesting to see how these criminal matters were conducted “off the record.”

“All of these criminal matters are public record – and I wanted a member of the press in there.” Baumgartner later said. As I walked in, Dr. Baumgartner introduced me and I nodded to all present. I quickly placed a digital recorder on the table in front of her so that she could speak into it.

The last time I attempted to record a proceeding was back in December of 2004. Ohio Visiting Judge Richard Markus invited me to do so – but warned me on the record that any transcriptions I made of official court proceedings could not be passed off as “official court record.” I nodded to him, thanked him, and told him that I understood the rules. While I believe that Former Cuyahoga County Judge Richard Markus is really out to get me for what I’ve written about him – I believe he has the political suaveness to at least act like he doesn’t mind that he’s the subject of media scrutiny. He’s probably working behind the scenes to figure out a way to shut me up without giving away his poker hand. Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Dan Kasaris is a different story:

The meeting started when Baumgartner said to me, “Before we begin, Bryan I just want to point out that, Mr. Kasaris is carrying an envelope labeled [Cuyahoga County Prosecutor] ‘William Mason’ and it’s got your name on it.” As soon as the words were out of Baumgartner’s mouth, Kasaris put his hands up in the air, gave a questioning look to bailiff Tom McGowen, quickly gathered his files and scurried out of the room.

Baumgartner has been trying to prove that Mason’s office is colluding with the Erie County Prosecutor’s office to silence this website with sham criminal charges. Kasaris just presented a formerly dismissed ‘domestic violence’ case to the Erie County Grand Jury – but the grand jury refused to indict me.)

Baumgartner finished the “off the record” proceeding with, “See, it’s like lifting a rock and letting sunshine come in…these guys know that we’re exposing them and they run off like little cockroaches.”

Assistant Cuyahoga County “special prosecutor” Daniel Kasaris waiting for Elsebeth Baumgartner’s arraignment to begin after scurrying out of a privately recorded conference. “At least they sent a good looking guy this time,” Baumgartner later said.

Now, I remember back a few months ago when the Honorable Judge Binette (during his election time) was faced with a similar situation with me. Judge Binette made a joke out of my request to record him – it was pretty disarming. I couldn’t help but think that maybe Judge Binette is an honorable guy with nothing to hide and therefore he couldn’t care less about media scrutiny. After all, he’s following the rules that we elected him to follow – and no amount of media scrutiny is going to “scare him” into running out of a room like a man who’s conducting public business on Shady Street.

The incident today proved that we can’t say the same thing for Baxter handpicked “special prosecutor” Dan Kasaris.

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