COLUMBUS - A planned vote on whether to recall Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner was kicked from the Nov. 3 ballot Monday by a narrowly divided Ohio Supreme Court.
The majority agreed with the mayor that the Lucas County Board of Elections "clearly disregarded applicable law'' when it rejected his protest that the petitions were invalid because they lacked a mandatory statement that election falsification is a fifth-degree felony.
".(T)he election is sufficiently close so that Finkbeiner lacks an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law via an action for prohibitory injunction,'' the court's majority ruled. The majority consisted of Justices Paul Pfeifer, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Maureen O'Connor, and Judith Lanzinger.
But Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, Robert Cupp, and Terrence O'Donnell disagreed.
"I fail to see how he lacked an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, given the availability of a prohibitory injunction through a court of common pleas,'' wrote Chief Justice Moyer. "Because Finkbeiner had an ample amount of time to seek such an injunction when he filed the present suit, I would dismiss the cause.''
Mr. Finkbeiner earlier this month announced he will not seek re-election to a fourth term as mayor. If the recall vote had been successful, the mayor would have been removed from office for the last few weeks of his term.
Take Back Toledo backers, including WSPD-AM Radio and several suburban businessmen, bankrolled the unsuccessful recall effort because Mayor Finkbeiner angered them over development issues and to try to boost radio ratings.39.96196 -83.00298
The all-Republican high court, by a 4-3 vote, came to the defense of the Democratic mayor in finding that the deadline of two months before the election for the printing of absentee ballots did not provide Mr. Finkbeiner adequate time to challenge recall petitions filed by a group calling itself Take Back Toledo.