A 3-panel body of judges assigned by the Supreme Court of Ohio to hear State Attorney General David Yost's request to suspend Ward 4 Councilman Kenneth Johnson were dragged into the middle of a legally-unsupported claim. The new panel of judges hearing Johnson's appeal should use Civil Rule 11 to evaluate the state attorney general's answers.

In 2018 Yost warned East Cleveland officials that they were facing dissolution

Dereliction of duty is a criminal offense Brandon King will learn very well while he's locked up with other mayors in a state prison for following his ig'nant criminal mind and not laws

COLUMBUS, OH – East Cleveland residents may want to read the chilling words in the financial report of ex-auditor of state David Yost for insight on his “next plans” for the city as the state’s new attorney general. 

Richmond Heights resident Brandon King’s stealing like a guy who believes he’s taking “one for the team” as he delivers millions in no bid contracts to his friends with public funds. He’s probably fantasizing that he’ll be cool when he gets out of “federal” prison unless the state wants him bad enough. Here’s how this goes. The properties and assets he’s transferring to his “baby’s momma” will get her indicted for receiving stolen property. The same with the receivers of stolen public funds and their significant others. Everything he and his friends acquired will be “seized.” Bank accounts frozen. The length of time is key. People accustomed to doing time “lose it” when they return. Lifelines change. People they’re counting on die. People they embarassed want to forget. When you’re out there’s still the “restitution” under the government’s watchful eyes. You can’t attend funerals or protect your children. The entire world can change around you in a single year. Let alone 28 years. Jimmy Dimora time. There’s a Jimmy Dimora politician for every generation who’s supposed to be the example for all others not to follow.

Yost’s December 2018 report to the Financial Planning & Supervision Commission which oversees East Cleveland’s finances explained how the attorney general has the authority under a 2012 Ohio law to file a petition to dissolve the municipal corporation for the inability of its elected and appointed officials to perform duties authorized by law.  Yost signed off on the following words:

“Section 118.31 of the Revised Code provides the procedures for legal action to dissolve a municipal corporation. If a petition is approved by the financial planning and supervision commission, if any, the attorney general shall file a legal action in the court of common pleas on behalf of the State to dissolve a municipal corporation if the municipal corporation has less than five thousand residents as of the most recent federal consensus, the municipal corporation has been under fiscal emergency for at least four consecutive years, and the implementation of the financial plan cannot be reasonably expected to correct and eliminate all fiscal emergency conditions within five years. If the court of common pleas finds that all of these conditions apply, a receiver is appointed by the court to work with the officers of the municipal corporation to wind up the affairs of and dissolve the municipal corporation.”

Yost’s 2018 “report” detailed alarming criminal acts being committed in all areas of the city’s government by Mayor Brandon King, Judge Will Dawson, the city’s finance director, Charles Iyahen, and Scott Gardner.  Some of the acts, such as the way former chief of police Michael Cardilli and his former secretary, Vanessa Veals, managed the police department’s payroll records could be considered “racketeering.”   Yost singled-out Dawson as the only official who isn’t depositing the court’s cash daily as required by law. 

Dawson’s former secretary, Laura Smith, was arrested by the FBI after she participated in a staged robbery of court funds headed for the bank.  Dawson stacked deposits instead of delivering court funds daily to the bank.  Smith was  indicted and has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.  Judges before Dawson hired armed guards in armoured vehicles to pick up and deliver the court’s money.

What Yost identifies in their criminally-negligent and derelict acts is the groundwork for the “attorney general” to petition a court of common pleas judge to “dissolve” East Cleveland as a municipal corporation and eliminate the mayor, council, judge and school district.  The report literally reads as the attorney general’s “statement of facts” and “conclusions of law” in the petition he plans to file with the court.

While the language of the statute identifies a population threshold of under 5000 to be a requirement that must be met; Yost in his report to the financial planning and supervision in his official capacity as the state’s auditor appears to address how he’ll interpret “residency” in his petition as the state’s attorney general.  Yost wrote the following “key” words.

“It is mandatory that all City residents and corporations file tax returns. The annual income tax forms are mailed to City residents and businesses in January each year. The annual tax return is due by April 15th.”

Every duty indicted ex-mayor Gary Norton failed to perform after his mismanagement of East Cleveland’s finances caused the city to be placed in fiscal caution, fiscal watch and then fiscal emergency was documented in the state auditor’s report as evidence the state attorney general can use to petition for its dissolution.

He then explained how “the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) collects the City’s income tax and assists with the collection of delinquent accounts. Semi-monthly, the City receives a distribution report, an electronic funds transfer (EFT), and a report of the amounts collected by RITA.”

The statute Yost will use to petition for East Cleveland’s dissolution doesn’t require “residency” to be determined by a count of the U.S. Census.  Pursuant to the city’s charter all residents are compelled to file tax returns.  The number of “residents” filing returns in East Cleveland is below 5,000 as the distribution of housing units is about 75 percent rental.   

East Cleveland activist Justyn Anderson told EJBNEWS he met with King and his chief of staff, Michael Smedley, to discuss the audit with resident Juanita Gowdy.  Anderson said he could only sit quietly in stunned silence after Smedley discredited Yost’s report as nothing more than “his opinion.”  Smedley was identified in the federal indictment of Cuyahoga County landbank employee Kenneth Tyson in December 2018.

What King, Dawson and former council president Joie Graham appear not to have understood or have responded to is the “evidence” Yost stockpiled against them as sworn elected officials.   

Instead of seeing Yost’s reports as immediate steps to take to correct by reading the laws he identified and obeying them, council violated the very section of the charter he shared in the report that told them not to pass the budget before January 5 of 2019.  Graham engaged in an act of dereliction of duty and council did what they wanted instead of what the charter required. 

They enacted it on December 18, 2018.   Ex-council president Ernest Smith failed to obey the charter before he was removed.  King, Smedley and Iyahen in 2020 obstructed the current council’s efforts to comply with the charter’s budget requirements.  King and Iyahen have refused to deliver any of the contracts they’ve entered or records of the public funds they’re spending.  They’ve obstructed council by refusing to pay its legal counsel.

Yost’s 2018 report observed that instead of paying themselves every month as required by the charter; council pays themselves every two weeks.

This is the Revised Code of Ohio statute state Attorney General David Yost can use to petition for East Cleveland’s dissolution.

What’s obstructing East Cleveland residents is the complete lack of access they have to public records and city hall from private citizens discharging the duties of statutory public offices without “oaths of office.”  Council meetings are not being conducted in accordance with the charter; and the Zoom meetings in no way give the public access to the deliberations of the public body in a city with few internet options for its residents. 

The closing of city hall and suspending of all laws “proclamation” King signed is a sham document and a criminal tool.  So is Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s.

What every elected and appointed official in Ohio is required to do before they open their mouths at a public meeting, sign their name to an official document or give an order to another official or employee, is read “at least once” every document identified in the “Oath of Office.”  

Not reading the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Ohio, the applicable chapters of the United States Code and the Revised Code of Ohio; as well as the charter and ordinances of “municipal corporations” is the reason for all the violations of the aforenamed “governing authorities.”  It is a duty of every single elected official, appointed official and public employee to read and obey these documents.

I’ve shared the “Dereliction of duty” section under the Revised Code of Ohio Yost is using to prosecute elected officials and “public servants” in Ohio.  A “public servant” includes contractors performing an “adjunct” function of the government.  When you accept a contract its supposed to be for work the government can’t do on its own.

2921.44. Dereliction of duty

(A) No law enforcement officer shall negligently do any of the following:

(1) Fail to serve a lawful warrant without delay;
(2) Fail to prevent or halt the commission of an offense or to apprehend an offender, when it is in the law enforcement officer’s power to do so alone or with available assistance.
(B) No law enforcement, ministerial, or judicial officer shall negligently fail to perform a lawful duty in a criminal case or proceeding.
(C) No officer, having charge of a detention facility, shall negligently do any of the following:

(1) Allow the detention facility to become littered or unsanitary;
(2) Fail to provide persons confined in the detention facility with adequate food, clothing, bedding, shelter, and medical attention;
(3) Fail to control an unruly prisoner, or to prevent intimidation of or physical harm to a prisoner by another;
(4) Allow a prisoner to escape;
(5) Fail to observe any lawful and reasonable regulation for the management of the detention facility.
(D) No public official of the state shall recklessly create a deficiency, incur a liability, or expend a greater sum than is appropriated by the general assembly for the use in any one year of the department, agency, or institution of the state with which the public official is connected.
(E) No public servant shall recklessly fail to perform a duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the public servant’s office, or recklessly do any act expressly forbidden by law with respect to the public servant’s office.
(F) Whoever violates this section is guilty of dereliction of duty, a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(G) Except as otherwise provided by law, a public servant who is a county treasurer; county auditor; township fiscal officer; city auditor; city treasurer; village fiscal officer; village clerk-treasurer; village clerk; in the case of a municipal corporation having a charter that designates an officer who, by virtue of the charter, has duties and functions similar to those of the city or village officers referred to in this section, the officer so designated by the charter; school district treasurer; fiscal officer of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code; treasurer of a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code; or fiscal officer of a college-preparatory boarding school established under Chapter 3328. of the Revised Code and is convicted of or pleads guilty to dereliction of duty is disqualified from holding any public office, employment, or position of trust in this state for four years following the date of conviction or of entry of the plea, and is not entitled to hold any public office until any repayment or restitution required by the court is satisfied.
(H) As used in this section, “public servant” includes the following:

(1) An officer or employee of a contractor as defined in section 9.08 of the Revised Code;
(2) A fiscal officer employed by the operator of a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code or by the operator of a college-preparatory boarding school established under Chapter 3328. of the Revised Code.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.

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