Editor, The Messenger,

Laws under our system are designed to create guardrails designed to outlaw certain behaviors. A frightening development has been public prosecutors who overreach when charging people oftentimes who are operating within those guardrails and they do this in high profile cases for political, not legal reasons. This now appears to be the case in Georgia where stun guns can be considered a lethal weapon.

Federally, the criminal prosecution of Arthur Anderson following the collapse of Enron and the criminal prosecution of a Virginia Governor, once considered a threat to the presidential hopes of Hillary Clinton going into 2016, both of which resulted in a 9-0 defeat for the federal prosecutors in the US Supreme Court.

Now this poison of public officials seeking to rally public opinion for personal political purposes has now infected our community in the form of the hand sanitizer case.

The Ohio AG relies on ORC 1345.01 et seq. ORC 1345.02(A) provides “No supplier shall commit an unfair or deceptive act or practice in connection with a consumer transaction. Such an unfair or deceptive act or practice by a supplier violates this section whether it occurs before, during, or after the transaction.” Subsection (B)(8) of that section does mention price but it outlaws only a claim of “…a specific price advantage exists, if it does not.” ORC 1345.03 outlaw acts deemed unconscionable due to “…the inability of the consumer reasonably to protect the consumer’s interests because of the consumer’s physical or mental infirmities, ignorance, illiteracy, or inability to understand the language of an agreement; [and/or]…the supplier knew at the time the consumer transaction was entered into that the price was substantially in excess of the price at which similar property or services were readily obtainable in similar consumer transactions by like consumers…”

A fair reading of these sections clearly shows the bogus nature of the Ohio AG’s suit.

The accused husband uses e-commerce to provide him with a gainful activity through his entrepreneurial efforts of buying and selling. His online efforts are the essence of entrepreneurial behavior in which trading is dictated by the market and the ability to correctly foresee market opportunities. When not so trading, the couple donate substantially both financially and through service to the community such as visiting the sick and infirmed and supporting the efforts of local charities.

This bogus suit by the Ohio AG, in my opinion, is an abuse of process and reveals either a corrupt intent on the AG’s part knowing that his filing of this suit represents an overreaching, non-meritorious suit or clearly shows he lacks the legal acumen to fairly and justly do his job. His effort to weaponize the law to score political points is a travesty and I firmly hope the couple will resist it.

The Ohio General Assembly is free to reset the guardrails but until then the people need to resist this kind of fragrant political grandstanding.

John Keifer


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