Justice Insider: Supreme Court docket received‘t hear suspended lawyer‘s enchantment

Beth Burger The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to hear suspended lawyer Javier Armengau‘s appeal of his 2014 conviction for sexually assaulting three women with connections to his legal practice.

The decision clears the way for Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Jenifer French to schedule a hearing to reconsider his 13-year sentence.

French had delayed considering a new sentence for Armengau while waiting to see what the Supreme Court would do with the case. The county Court of Appeals had upheld the convictions, but found that the trial judge made an error in the sentencing by not merging some of the counts. The appeals court ordered the trial court to re-sentence him.

Armengau, in an email last week to Dispatch Courts Reporter John Futty, said he knew the Supreme Court wouldn‘t hear his case. Hearing the case, he wrote from prison, would require the justices to deal with the facts and do something they didn‘t want to do: rule in his favor. 

“In other words, there was no way for them to accept my case for review and then decide against me on any issue,” he wrote.

Armengau noted that the Supreme Court justices include Patrick DeWine, whose father, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, oversees the office that handled his prosecution.

“Don‘t you find that to be a massive conflict of interest?” he wrote.

A special disciplinary counsel recently filed a complaint that claims Patrick DeWine has violated the Code of Judicial Conduct by failing to disqualify himself from cases involving his father.  

Armengau also wanted to make it clear that he is suspended, not disbarred, as reported in a Feb. 5 Dispatch story. A Supreme Court probable-cause panel in December 2014 recommended permanent disbarment for Armengau, but a final ruling on the disciplinary complaint has been delayed while he appeals his convictions.

Lace up your skates with police, firefighters

If you like to skate, you can hit the ice rink with members of the Columbus police and fire divisions Saturday.

The Columbus Fire and Columbus Police hockey teams are offering a meet-and-greet and open skate. McGruff the Crime Dog and Sparky the Fire Dog will be there too.

The event is from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Chiller Ice Rinks, 3600 Chiller Lane, Columbus. Cost is $10 per skate, including skate rental. Participants need to register and buy tickets in advance at www.firstresponderfaceoff. Space is limited.

Proceeds benefit the First Responder Face-Off Foundation, which aids first responders and other charities.

The skate is a warm-up to the faceoff between the police and fire hockey teams on Feb. 24.

Snowstorm no excuse for lawyer being late

Local attorney Sam Shamansky, like many last Wednesday, struggled through snow to get to work, following a 5-inch snowfall from an overnight storm.

His destination from Downtown: the normally 40-minute trip to Bellefontaine in Logan County.

Despite leaving early for a sentencing hearing for a client, Reporter Dean Narciso reports, Shamansky was about 30 minutes late.

Logan County Judge William Goslee fined him $500, which Shamansky said he considered a worthy “donation” to the Common Pleas Court‘s Adult Drug Recovery Court.


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