COLUMBUS, Ohio - Three Republicans and three Democrats will serve on Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann's newly formed Outside Counsel Advisory Panel.
The panel will advise Dann on procedures for selecting which private attorneys will be hired to represent the state when it is needed. Last month, Dann introduced several changes to the way that process is carried out.
"By bringing together this bi-partisan group of (three) judges and (three) corporate attorneys, I believe we will come up with a fair and objective process to select the most qualified attorneys for the cases impacting Ohioans, as well as bringing in top-notch securities lawyers to fight securities fraud to protect Ohioans."
Those chosen were:
-Judge Ellen Connally (D), the first African-American woman elected to a judgeship in Ohio without first being appointed;
-Judge Alvin "Buddy" Krenzler (R), appointed in 1981 by President Reagan to federal court for the Northern District of Ohio;
-Judge Joe Cirrigliano (D), former appellate judge for the Ninth District Court of Appeals;
-Sam Fried, Esq. (D), Executive Vice President of Law, Policy and Governance of Limited Brands, Inc.;
-Mark Inzetta, Esq. (R), Chief Corporate Compliance Officer at Wendy's International; and
-Rick Richards, Esq. (R), currently on the Boards of Directors of six companies.
Full bios can be found here. The panel will also be responsible for codifying the selection process.
Dann says an audit he initiated in January revealed a number of problems with previous special counsel, specifically attorneys going over their budget and not keeping the State regularly updated of their activities.
Dann says the new system makes the qualification process more stringent. The selection will begin with an extensive pre-qualification process where existing firms and attorneys are audited, while new firms and attorneys are required to submit a comprehensive questionnaire.
More firms can become involved now, Dann says, since he is posting application forms on his website and sending them to bar associations and legal publications across the state.
"By opening the outside counsel process to a broader range of talent, we will improve the bottom line result for both the taxpayer and the state," Dann said.