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Anonymous lawyer in Tressel e-mails identified

Columbus lawyer Christopher Cicero has been identified as the attorney who exchanged e-mails with embattled Ohio State coach Jim Tressel during April and June, 2010, three sources told the Columbus Dispatch.

Cierco, 54, was a former walk-on linebacker at Ohio State while Tressel was an assistant for the Buckeyes in the early 1980’s.

The e-mails, which can be seen HERE at, show that Cierco had “friends in law enforcement” which bridge the connection between him and Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife.

Rife -- a convicted felon with connections to the drug trafficking industry -- had his home raided by law enforcement officers prior to the initial April 2 e-mail exchange between Tressel and Cierco, and several pieces of Ohio State memorabilia, including championship rings, were found in Rife’s home.

Cierco mentioned that he was informed players had signed memorabilia in exchange for tattoos. He also mentioned Rife was selling memorabilia for a profit, but was unsure if any players were pocketing money from the sales.

When informed of all of this, Tressel responded “I will get on it ASAP”.

About that...

But Cierco’s past is a sketchy one as well. The Dispatch cites that Cierco was part of two mistrials in 2002, and had his license suspended for 1 year in 1997 for implying he was having an affair with a female judge.

Shady? You bet.

Clearly, as more details come forward, the more damning the situation appears. Not only did Tressel fail to inform, well, anyone of what he knew, but he did so knowing there were potentially dangerous people involved.

And if the situation didn’t warrant more than a two-game suspension before, it certainly does now.