Thursday, November 03, 2011

Dvorak Refuses To Recuse Himself From Democrats' Petition-Forging Scandal

St. Joseph Co. Prosecutor Michael Dvorak is refusing a request by Republican officials to recuse himself from the investigation of the 2008 Democratic presidential petition-forging scandal uncovered by a joint investigation by the South Bend Tribune and Howey Politics despite his close political relationship with the people he is investigating and the fact that his name was among those forged on the ballot petitions. Dvorak had asked the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, a Democrat, to take over the investigation of the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but that office turned down the investigation on orders from the Justice Department in Washington. Dvorak tells the South Bend Tribune he will continue working with Indiana State Police investigators on the case:
Dvorak said he'll continue to investigate the alleged 2008 primary petition fraud with Indiana State Police and where warranted, prosecute those responsible.
"My office has a long history of prosecuting elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans," he said in the written statement. "Serving as the prosecutor of this county, I have prosecuted a town clerk, town treasurer, town council member, county council member, and a county investment officer all in separate unrelated matters." . . . 
"The main [concern] is he's so close to the people involved and he's been involved in the Democratic Party and a leader in the party for years and years," said St. Joseph County Republican Party Chair Deb Fleming. "It's hard to investigate your own close friends and allies impartially. 
The fact that Dvorak is a victim - his name was apparently forged on at least one petition - should also prompt him to request a special prosecutor, Fleming added.
This is the way it always is. They expected and got the result in Hamilton Co. in the Charlie White investigation even though Sonia Leerkamp, the Republican prosecutor, had no conflict other than her party affiliation in investigating White. When the shoe is on the other foot, the Democrats scream bloody murder until the Republican prosecutor relents and appoints a special prosecutor. Democratic prosecutors always refuse to recuse themselves and typically ignore criminal activity engaged in by their political buddies. In a case like this, Republicans should petition the Indiana Supreme Court to intervene and order Dvorak to recuse himself since he obviously doesn't understand the Rules of Professional Conduct. Dvorak has an ethical obligation to recuse himself simply because he's one of the victims of the forgery, if not because of his close political ties to the people he is investigating.

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