A.J. Wagner shows the Governor who’s boss

First Montgomery County Common Please Judge A.J. Wagner is going to retire, so the Dems can appoint a replacement- so they can run as an incumbent, then after the Governor makes his pick- AJ says nope, not handing it over to local attorney Steve Dankof- because apparently, Dankof isn’t going to keep one of A.J.’s patronage pals.

Hmmm. Sort of like saying you didn’t bid after you won the auction.

Wagner, a Democrat, said in November that he wanted to retire during an Democratic administration, so that his staff would have a better chance to keep their jobs. After Republican John Kasich defeated Strickland, Wagner decided to retire this year.

“There was no other reason for me to retire at this time,” Wagner said in a letter faxed to Brown. “the person who has been appointed to replace me has informed me he will not keep one of my staff members. Therefore, I am rescinding my resignation effective immediately.”

Wagner said he would be returning all presents and reimbursing the court for the farewell party held in his courtroom on Tuesday.

via A.J. Wagner: I’m not retiring | Dayton Courts: Legal and crime news.

It’s this kind of BS that runs this city into the ground. A.J. should be removed from the bench for lying in office. His pension should be rescinded, and his entire staff should be fired- and have to compete for their jobs back.

It’s time to stop the patronage, political party maneuvering- and start remembering who you work for. Any one in a real world job wouldn’t get away with this for a minute.

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12 Responses

  1. Alan Scott December 31, 2010 / 1:38 am
    This may come as a shock and abuse of office and power to some, but not long time Daytonians. Once you realize and accept that the Montgomery County Democratic Party is just a private club that exists solely to get cushy jobs for family, friends and classmates and NOTHING ELSE, you have Dayton all figured out. It’s our Union legacy, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone. The 2nd and 3rd generation of Local Dems are doing to local gov’t what they did to GM, Frigidaire and Delphi. It’s all they know how to do, literally. What is insulting is that they really look at themselves as ‘leaders’ and expect us to buy it.
    Answer me this, what was more important to the Judge, his duty to the public and his profession or his ability to keep ONE of his friends on the payroll?
    I applaud you David for repeatedly pointing out the Monarchy of Montgomery County. It’s worse than you know, what the cumulative effects of 30-40 years of Montgomery County Democratic Patronage has had on this town. What is really scary is that you can now find the grandkids of the original Baby-Boomer Patronage Leeches trolling around the County Bldg or the BOE at Ludlow or City Hall on the public payroll. All making a living with health benefits in jobs that were never posted and none of those ‘employees’ afraid of being fired (short of breaking the law).
    No matter who gets elected (County, City, DPS) to positions of leadership, it won’t make a dent in actual service delivery because this has happened unchecked for so long. Can you imagine what would really happen if a County Commissioner or City Commissioner or School Board Official tried to do what the Mayor of Atlanta is doing? Look at how bad this one Judge has made us all look over ONE JOB.

    Well-loved. Brilliant: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  2. Bill December 31, 2010 / 8:58 am
    You couldn’t be closer to the truth!
    Fact of the matter is, deep-seated corruption and “entitlement” is what holds Dayton back from being a progressive, forward thinking community.
    FYI…there is far more judicial corruption than most are aware of.

    Well-loved. Brilliant: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. David Esrati December 31, 2010 / 9:58 am

    The real question is- who is the golden employee? Turns out, the Judge only has 3. Rewards to the first to find out who Dankof was going to fire.

    From 2nd DDN article:

    “I guess he can change his mind,” said University of Dayton School of Law professor Tom Hagel on Thursday. “I’ve never heard of this happening before.”…

    Hagel said that though Wagner’s decision might be legal, it might not be a good precedent, allowing judges to have approval over their successors. “It basically binds the hand of the governor,” said Hagel. He said he did not know what case law existed that would address the situation, but added “I’ve got a feeling we haven’t heard the last of this.”

    via Judge’s decision not the only unusual retirement move.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Bob VL December 31, 2010 / 10:12 am
    Cudos To David, and his followers for being INFORMED Citizens of Dayton!  A Judge woefully mistake if he thinks that he can be so trasparent as NOT to show his true colors.  Shame on AJ Wagner!

    We also know that David has exposed previous wrong-doings in the Gem City…and now, so does Michelle Malkin on a national stage!  Read her Nanny State post below and scroll down to Cleveland Ohio paragrapoh to see it here:


    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. David Esrati December 31, 2010 / 11:15 am

    Here is the link to what BobVL is taling about-

    – The city of Cleveland. The green police in this Midwestern metropolis made headlines in February with an intrusive plan to roll out electronic snooping trash cans — “smart” rubbish bins bugged with radio frequency identification chips and bar codes to monitor residents’ recycling habits. Violators can be fined $100. Federal stimulus money has gone to fund similar programs in Dayton, Ohio. The technology originated in Germany, was adopted by eco-authoritarians in England (where at least 500,000 trash cans are now embedded with snitch chips) and has spread across Europe. Welcome to the age of Bin Brother.

    via Michelle Malkin » Big Nannies of the Year.

    I hardly have a problem with smart trash cans and recycling metrics- you can’t improve what you can’t measure-.

    but Cleveland is an excellent example of what happens when the Monarchy finally falls-

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. John Ise December 31, 2010 / 4:39 pm
    Michelle Malkin is
    See clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoM90bAsr1M

    Smackdown!. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  7. David Lauri January 1, 2011 / 10:48 am
    John, are you sure you’re not just jealous of Michelle Malkin because she has an award named after herself and you do not?

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. Emily Weaver January 3, 2011 / 11:30 pm
    Oh I can think of a certain small courthouse (north of here) with a Judge who is married to a prominent prosecutor (gee I wonder how she got THAT job as a Judge??!!).  Go to her courthouse any day of the week and there is a line to pay fees/fines/etc – seriously go check it out.  It’s really weird and atypical for such a small court – and I worked in the legal system here, and Chicago and the District of Columbia.  The Municipal courthouse in downtown Dayton doesn’t even have lines like her courthouse. 

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Tom January 4, 2011 / 9:54 am
    The employee AJ is protecting has cancer. Shame on AJ for protecting a sick employee he’s worked with for years. vcn

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Emily Weaver January 4, 2011 / 5:19 pm
    @Tom:  This is going to sound callous but why does it matter if the employee has cancer?  My mother has terminal cancer and the one thing she has repeated to me is that “Life doesn’t stop b/c I have cancer”.  Shall Hon. Wagner make sure that this employee never gets in a car wreck?  Or that a relative should die while treating his cancer (my mother’s twin brother and her brother-in-law both died this year after she got her diagnosis) or any other “terrible” event like losing a job?  THAT IS LIFE.  Furthermore, I am pretty sure that you are of the belief that an employer be everything and anything to an employee.  I’m sorry but I expect my paycheck from my employer.  That is it. At the end of the day he is my boss – NOT my buddy. Besides with everything that DE has posted on the back door deals in Montgomery Co/City of Dayton – I have no doubt that this employee would have found another County Court job – for exactly the reason you noted – his loyalty through years of work.  Maybe this has crossed your brain but what happens in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years.  No offense and I wish His Honor no ill, but His Honor won’t live forever.  Sould this employee be kept on staff by proxy?  Passed from one generation to the next?  Also I am sure that Mr. Dankof had a valid reason NOT to keep the employee (n.b. bad work habits travel thru a courthouse faster than greased lightening).

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. David Esrati January 5, 2011 / 6:50 am

    So now we have Dennis Lieberman stepping in and brokering a deal:

    Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge A.J. Wagner will retire, effective last week, under an agreement he reached with Steve Dankof, Gov. Ted Strickland’s choice to succeed Wagner.

    Wagner, Dankof and former Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Dennis Lieberman met on Monday and Tuesday to negotiate an end to the stalemate that began when Wagner rescinded his retirement on Dec. 30 — the same day Strickland appointed Dankof….

    Wagner said that all three of his staff members would stay on under Judge Dankof. He declined to say what the negotiations had consisted of, but said “I’ve got his word.”…

    Wagner, a Democrat, said in November that he wanted to retire during an Democratic administration, so that his staff would have a better chance to keep their jobs. After Republican John Kasich defeated Strickland, Wagner decided to retire this year.

    “There was no other reason for me to retire at this time,” Wagner said in a letter faxed last week to then-Chief Justice Eric Brown. “The person who has been appointed to replace me has informed me he will not keep one of my staff members. Therefore, I am rescinding my resignation effective immediately.”

    via Dankof sworn in as judge’s replacement.

    Why does AJ get to protect employees? And- since when were their jobs in danger- AJ had at least 2 more years on the bench.

    Dankof should fire all three- repost the positions, and hire the best possible people.

    These are jobs in the justice system- not in political party HQ.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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