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A typical day in a law office, according to noted expertsWe feel just awful for Hocking County, Ohio, prosecutor Laina Fetherolf, a first-term Democrat whose campaign for reelection has been complicated by vicious rumors that sound like something out of an episode of Night Court. And we really feel awful about the fact that we are now going to make matters worse by talking even more about what did or did not happen with her panties after a wardrobe malfunction in court. So please accept our abject apologies, Ms. Fetherolf, and remember that we actually do believe your side of the story!

Now, let’s talk about your underthings.

According to a complaint Fetherolf filed with the Ohio Elections Commission, her opponent Jason Sarvar has been spreading untrue rumors about what Fetherolf did when a judge noticed that “Fetherolf was wearing dark panties under a light-colored dress, causing snickering in the courtroom.” According to a letter sent to Fetherolf by a local businessman, Sarver had told the businessman and his wife that when the judge

told her to fix the fashion faux pas…Fetherolf left the courtroom, went to the men’s room, removed her panties and then placed them in evidence before the judge.

She also supposedly announced, “problem solved.”

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Fetherolf’s complaint about the rumors was dismissed “largely because it was not based on personal knowledge and was neither a public statement nor campaign literature.” Fetherolf’s campaign Facebook page, however, contends that “the complaint was dismissed due to a typographical error and will be resubmitted tomorrow,” adding “We truly believe justice will be done.”

Fetherolf says that she only filed her complaint after hearing the rumor from multiple sources:

“I was willing to laugh it off until the story began to spread … I’ve heard about it from multiple people. Everybody in Logan is talking about this story [Sarver] made up.”


Common Pleas Court Judge John T. Wallace has said little about the incident, but agrees with prosecutor Fetherolf on the key panty-depositing allegation: “No panties have ever been placed on my bench by anyone, including her.”

In a note on her Facebook page, Fetherolf emphasizes that her goal has simply been to stop the rumors, not to stoke controversy:

I never intended to cause any media frenzy, just to get him to stop. I’ve heard it many times from diverse people and it would have been impossible for me to track down everyone to set the record straight. I gave him an opportunity to correct it, I filed with the elections commission without making a big fuss, and then I was contacted by the media, not the other way around.

Once again, Ms. Fetherolf, we feel a bit guilty for contributing to the Streisand Effect here. On the other hand … PANTIES OF JUSTICE!!!!!

You see our dilemma.

[Atlantic Wire / Columbus Dispatch / Facebook]

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