Lawyer Who Challenged Public Health Orders Says He's Glad Health Director Is Gone

Aug 25, 2020

Former Ohio Department of Health Director Doctor Amy Acton signs the state's first Stay at Home order on March 22.
Credit Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Ohio Governor is Mike DeWine says he's unfazed by the threat of impeachment over public health orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic. 

But anger over the orders hasn't fallen on Dewine exclusively. 

Former health director Doctor Amy Acton is one of dozens of public health officials who’ve resigned or been fired during the pandemic because of stress, pushback and even concerns about their safety. One of the lawyers who led the charge against some of the orders designed to protect public health says he’s fine with knowing he might have been a part of Acton’s decision to leave. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

Acton quit as health director in June, after weeks of criticism, threats and protests at her home. She resigned as Governor Mike DeWine’s COVID adviser earlier this month. Maurice Thompson has filed lawsuits over several public health orders. He offers no apologies for what he might have done that led to Acton’s departure.

“I feel pretty good about my role in that. I think this is somebody who claim that this was an intense crisis and then quit in the middle of it. So that's not somebody that you want in a leadership position, if indeed this is an intense crisis.”

Thompson has represented a bridal shop, gyms, amusement parks and child care centers, and often reopening dates and rules have come out before those lawsuits got far. But Thompson says DeWine’s authority and businesses due process rights are important to litigate, even during a deadly pandemic.