By Barrett J. Brunsman
BATAVIA, Ohio (Cincinnati.com) — Rep. Jean Schmidt’s defamation lawsuit against David Krikorian, a political foe who allegedly said she is beholden to the Turkish government, has taken on Byzantine overtones in Clermont County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Victor M. Haddad, a Republican, asked the Ohio Supreme Court to remove him from the case, noting that he has contributed money to Schmidt and continues to support her politically.
“I can be fair, (but) that’s not the issue,” Haddad said. “It’s the appearance.”
Schmidt, a Miami Township Republican, represents the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Clermont County and eastern Hamilton County. On October 27, visiting Judge John W. Kessler of Montgomery County, who has been assigned to take over the case, is to schedule hearings on motions by the attorneys.
Haddad said he didn’t get a chance to announce he hoped to be removed from the case until after Christopher P. Finney, one of Krikorian’s attorneys, said during a September 27 hearing that Schmidt’s attorneys shouldn’t represent her.