French, Kennedy recuse themselves

The two Ohio Supreme Court incumbents seeking election this fall want nothing to do with the Ohio Republican Party lawsuit demanding records from the Democrat’s candidate for governor.

Republican Justices Judith L. French and Sharon L. Kennedy recused themselves this morning from the case in which the GOP seeks Ed FitzGerald’s key-card-swipe records showing his comings and goings from his job as Cuyahoga County executive.

FitzGerald and county officials say the documents are exempt from release under the public records act because they constitute security records that could compromise the candidate’s personal safety.

In a ruling that seemingly would justify FitzGerald's arguments, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled last week that the liberal-leaning blog Plunderbund was not entitled to records of threats against Republican Gov. John Kasich due to safety and security concerns that make the records secret.

Justices are not required to explain why they step aside. A pair of appellate court judges will be appointed to take the places of French and Kennedy in hearing the case.

French is running against Democrat Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John P. O'Donnell in the Nov. 4 election. Kennedy is opposed by State Rep. Tom Letson, D-Warren.