Did you ever wonder what happened to Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas, the pro-labor Republican, after he retired from the Court in 2002?

Sans his robe, he’s been wearing many new hats, so to speak. The website of the politically well-connected law firm Crabbe, Brown and James lists him as a partner as of 2003. A June 24 article in the Toledo Blade lists him as “former Ohio Supreme Court Justice . . ., executive director of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association and a close political advisor of Joe Deters,” the Republican State Treasurer in the middle of a criminal investigation.

The Plain Dealer reported, “Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Andy Douglas, one of Deters’ closest political advisors, is one of Pavlish’s attorneys.” A private investigator, Thomas Pavlish, was ordered to answer questions about a records request concerning the foreman of a secret grand jury who was investigating allegations involving contract-steering and bribery at Deters’ office.

Vanessa Tolliver, a former OCSEA officer, sent an open letter to the association’s Board of Directors raising several questions about Douglas’ multiple employment. Tolliver wonders if the OCSEA Board had “knowledge of the litigation” involving Douglas and Pavlish.” Tolliver also asks, “Since the Executive Director allegedly stated he would not be taking on any new cases for his law firm did the OCSEA Board of Directors give the Executive Director authority to enter into a litigation of this nature?”

Douglas is on the record denying that either he or Deters had hired Pavlish to investigate the foreman.

Among the questions raised by Tolliver are:

¨ If the Executive Director is not working fulltime for OCSEA, is his salary being reduced to reflect this?

¨ What judgment could have possibly been used to necessitate our Executive Director to even get involved in a case with such negative undertones to our Unions and Members?

¨ Is the Board monitoring the Executive Director’s activities to be able to account for his time in regards to the spending of our members’ monies?

Tolliver followed up with a formal request citing OCSEA’s constitution to review the “expenses and work activities” of Douglas and another employee, Theresa Wray. Her list includes: “reimbursement by payroll”; “records of all incoming and outgoing phone calls”; “records of all cellphone numbers”; and “all reimbursed credit card expenditures.”

Douglas appears to be having problems after his retirement from the Supreme Court regarding his new role as a union leader, lawyer and Republican operative. In an internal memo dated June 25, 2004 to OCSEA President Ronald Alexander, Douglas was accused of allegedly making “insensitive remarks of a racial, sexist and discriminatory nature.”

Allegedly Douglas got off to a bad start with an African American OCSEA staffer by suggesting that he might want to eat some “chittlins and greens” and referring to black staffers as “you people.” According to sources, Alexander conducted sensitivity training with Justice Douglas.

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