Published January 15, 2012
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last Wednesday (11 January 2012) many people from this area , 'round this state and elsewhere were hoping for some justice. Unfortunately, justice wasn't on the menu in Judge Bob Douglas' court - again.
We learned this from 20 December's Vindicator:
Croley was picked up about 10:50 p.m. Monday by Austintown police on the warrant, issued by Youngstown police after it was determined he owned dogs. Croley was held overnight in the Mahoning County jail pending his morning arraignment.
I'd been told that many folks had contacted The Youngstown Probation dept regarding Croley's harbouring dogs since May of 2011. People were so frustrated with the lack of interest by Croley's probation officer and the lack of response by the probation department, that they contacted Judge Douglas' office directly.
I'm concerned that there were SO VERY many calls to Steve Croley's probation officer yet NOTHING was investigated--NOTHING done. That should concern MORE than just those who speak for those who cannot speak for themselves...those, such as folks who have aligned themselves with The Nitro Foundation . We should ALL wonder if other cases handled by Steve Croley's probation officer and the Youngstown Probation Department have found their way to some gaping abyss - NEVER being followed up on...
I am surprised, with all of the calls made to Judge Douglas, ALL of the information that was sent to HIS office after NO response from the Youngstown Probation Department, that NOTHING has come from Judge Douglas - NO call for ANY investigation into the FAILURE of Steve Croley's p.o.(probation officer) to follow up on ANYTHING regarding THIS case. One would think that Bob Douglas would be concerned that this may be the 'tip of the iceberg', an indication that there's some dysfunction with this probation officer and/or possibly the entire Youngstown Probation department!
Unfortunately Judge Douglas' silence doesn't surprise me. His voice has never been one that this community can depend on for, well, anything. Listeners to the show are well aware of Judge Douglas' silence, his seeming lack of interest with the Mahoning County Criminal Justice Working Group which was formed after US Federal Judge David Dowd learned that we had a dysfunctional criminal justice system . Oh yes, Douglas showed up for some of the meetings, but did little more than look down at his shoes while in attendance.
THIS community needs judges that care about REAL justice and have the courage to call for an investigation when they're made aware of dysfunction. I realize that Bob Douglas is near the end of his career as Municipal judge. One would hope that Bob would want to end on a high note, a positive note. By ignoring dysfunction, Judge Douglas becomes part of the problem .
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.