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Courts and Crime


Akron Beacon Journal and reporter could be held in contempt
Phil Trexler and his paper have five days to tell the Ohio Supreme Court why they should not be held in contempt over refusal to testify about an attorney facing disciplinary action
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
The Ohio Supreme Court has told the Akron Beacon Journal -- and one of its reporters – they may be in contempt for refusing to testify about an interview with a lawyer facing disciplinary charges.
Reporter Phil Trexler refused to testify in a disciplinary hearing involving a 2012 story on attorney Larry Shenise. In the story, Shenise was upset about what he said was the Summit County court's failure to notify him of a court date, which led to the arrest of his client.
That, in turn, led to the complaint by the Akron Bar Association against Shenise.
Three justices -- including Paul Pfeifer – dissented, arguing that holding Trexler in contempt is "a waste of resources at all levels." Pfeifer went on to say that judicial authority over the press should be used sparingly, and the Trexler case is too trivial to merit such attention.
Trexler was subpoenaed because Shenise has said he was misquoted. The Beacon Journal’s attorney says journalists should not be used as fact-finders for the court. Neither Trexler nor the Beacon Journal could be reached for comment.
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