By Dan Horn
Enquirer staff writer
Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen and his attorney broke court rules when they demanded information from media outlets about the woman who accused Allen of sexual harassment, the woman's lawyers said Thursday.
Allen sought the information last month when his lawyer, Michael Hawkins, issued subpoenas to The Cincinnati Enquirer and two radio stations seeking notes, audiotape and other material related to media coverage of Allen's accuser, Rebecca Collins.
The subpoenas have since been withdrawn, but Collins' lawyers say Hawkins violated court rules for gathering evidence. They also complain that he continues to skirt court rules by seeking information about Collins through subpoenas in a separate legal dispute between Allen and county commissioners.
"Allen is attempting to gain an improper and unfair advantage in this litigation," wrote Collins' lawyer, Sheila Smith.
Collins, an assistant county prosecutor, filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit against Allen in U.S. District Court in August, an accusation that eventually led Allen to drop his re-election bid and withdraw his name from the Nov. 2 ballot.
Hawkins denies he violated court rules, which set strict timetables for gathering evidence.
"We have an obligation to vigorously defend and represent our client, and we will continue to do so," Hawkins said.
His subpoenas sought notes and tapes of interviews related to Collins' accusations, as well as personnel records from Collins' employment as a news aide and copy editor at the Enquirer in the 1990s.
In her complaint Thursday, Smith asked Judge Sandra Beckwith to sanction Hawkins for breaking the rules and to pay a portion of Collins' attorney fees.
She also asked the judge to order Allen and Hawkins to "cease and desist" all improper tactics.
Bush, Kerry stress differences on Iraq
Portman to help Cheney prep
College-age audience had already made pick
Editorial: Listen to what they said, not how they said it
Your voices on debate
Error will force Hamilton County to reissue 17,500 absentee ballots
Woman, 49, killed in car chase
Feds puzzled by sheriff's terror alert
'A Picasso' is heady, clever
SPECIAL REPORT: TEST STRESS
Schools grapple with test stress
Doctors know when it's test time
Did you know?
Some Views on Test-Taking and Stress
Educators take steps to reduce test stress
Parents can ease stress of tests
IN THE TRISTATE
Attorney challenges legal tactics of Allen
Blackwell election decisions blasted
Cincinnati schools open campaign for tax renewal
Angels graduate as police sweep
Nuxhall pitches Fairfield tax levy
Owens endorsed by FOP in county coroner's race
Butler fugitive nabbed overseas
Proposed cuts languish
Finneytown looks at teacher layoffs
Monroe might be site for Indians' casino
Court: Reveal donors' names
Opera losing influential artistic director
Warren court worker says demotion unfair
Local news briefs
Downs: This race is about fun, forgiveness
Ralph Bolton, planned downtown
C. W. 'Bill' Wiebold, 61, art restorer
Students touch piece of history
N. Ky. news briefs
Judge won't preside in officer DUI
Independent voice at forum
Young people urged to vote
State workers sound off on health insurance plan