CLEVELAND, OH – The benefit to being a Plain Dealer endorsed candidate for elected office is that the newspaper’s publisher and editors assign reporters to keep the politician’s image looking like the one their endorsement created and concealing their crimes. Its editors don’t want the people to know they don’t know a damn thing about government and their endorsements should have been ignored.
As many stories as this town’s reporters have “stolen” and continue to steal from my publications without attribution, they didn’t “steal” any of those I wrote clearly demonstrating that Gary Alexander Norton, Jr. is a criminal. It’s why those of you now reading are here; and the Plain Dealer’s entire curve-graded news team looks dimwittedly-slow and out-of-touch.
The other “media outlets” are just repeating what they’ve learned from the United States Department of Justice’s indictment or a news release. Their “morgues” -as libraries are called in the newspaper industry – don’t have the background information I possess.
I provided three U.S. Department of Treasury agents with information in 2017 about Norton, Thomas Wheeler, Brandon King, James Rokakis, Gus Frangos, George Michael Riley and others connected to that 5-story pile of deadly evil they allowed to be stacked behind homes in the city I once led as mayor on Noble Road. I was contacted and asked to speak with them after I pressured Craig Butler of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to close Christine Beynon and George Michael Riley’s “Arco” illegal dump with the “background” juice of U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge.
In May 2017, after my meeting, my sources tell me federal agents visited Riley’s employees. They had questions. Mainly, his relationship with the Cuyahoga County landbank official, Gus Frangos.
Here’s what you criminals whose names have been circulating around the Cuyahoga County landbank and East Cleveland don’t know. You’re already busted. Contact Special Agent Sean Roth at 216-522-1400 and surrender. King, Wheeler, Smedley, Moore, Gardner, Cardilli, McDonald … the rest. You know your names. King. Staying late at city hall won’t help. Smedley can’t help you. Belinda Kyle can’t help you. Willa Hemmons is sending you to jail.
King. You’ve been on “federal” radar ever since you used the office of the council vice presidency to vote on legislation you introduced to give yourself a Forest Hill home valued at $98,000 for $1000. The Feds know you don’t live at 1735 Elsinore in the rowhouse your brother Sheldon lives in that East Cleveland police raided twice for drugs. Keeping Smedley was stupid. He’s already done you in.
Five federal agencies with experienced investigators who already have the city’s paperwork and know the federal laws officials violated better than they do are embedded in the lives of their investigation targets. Without your knowledge cell phone, bank and other records have been subpoeaned. Some may have received “notices of interception” after wiretaps concluded.
Save the FBI the time of capturing you. Surrender. You are already caught. The criminals who have already been caught have told … all. Surrender. Norton’s charges are a “deal.” All the shit he did and just that? Peter Lawson Jones had him all over the place. The shit he knows? He’s singing.
Call Special Agent Roth in the public corruption unit to report the knowledge you have felony crimes pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4, misprision of felony, because if you don’t the failure to report gets you three years. They’re going to ask you why you did not report what you knew when you knew it if you don’t make the call.
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Norton’s three daughters are today of reading age. Their mother is a former Cleveland public school principal. Their stalwart father finally got his master’s degree in urban planning after earning 10 D’s and 8 F’s between Morehouse and Cleveland State Universities (CSU); and that’s after being graded on a curve. He was kicked out of Morehouse after three years for failing grades; and placed on “academic watch” at CSU.
It’s expected that today Norton’s three daughters read well, are internet search sophisticated; and have cell phones with news feeds to their social media pages. It’s expected that by now they’ve read and heard news their father has been indicted by the United States Department of Justice along with Vanessa Veals. She once baby sat for the ex-mayor of East Cleveland’s children as their families traveled together on Police Athletic League (PAL) money.
Veals was ex-chief of police Ralph Spotts’ secretary. I hired her. I relocated Spotts’ office and hers to the mayor’s corner of city hall so I could keep a closer eye on police management. It enabled me to see Veals one day writing nothing more than 40 hours on each cop’s unsigned time card; an act that resulted in my writing a four-page time card policy instructing every employee to maintain their own time cards, punching in and out throughout the day, and signing them or they’re not getting paid. Ask East Cleveland library board president William Fambrough if I paid him after he violated my time card policy, as one of my special assistants, before I fired him. An undisciplined mayor playing favorites undermines his or her own authority.
I was no longer East Cleveland’s mayor when the first edition of a newsletter in 2013 called the East Cleveland Tattler linked Norton and Veals to being spotted inside his car by a cop in Forest Hills Park. 43 editions later and Norton was recalled in 2016; after being re-elected in November 2013.
The “Tattler” – as the name was shortened by its thousands of readers – aided former Council President Dr. Joy Jordan, Vice President Chantelle Lewis and Nathaniel Martin’s voter driven effort to strip him of the extra $65,000 in 2013. He’d served in office from January 1, 2010 and returned the city to fiscal emergency by September 29, 2012. Norton had recklessly exceeded budgets until the city’s deficits exceeded $11 million. He’d cut a deal to close Huron Hospital for $8 million and spent all the money on whatever. Council never saw a dime of it as Nathaniel Martin thinks he stored it with Smedley in some secret account.
Norton and Michael Smedley got $30,000 in campaign help from the city’s red light camera vendor, but it didn’t help. The flyer I created for the $300 campaign made TIME magazine. He was asking voters for more money after he’d proven himself to be an incompetent manager and an inveterate liar.
Along the way to its last edition,the imaginative newsletter’s top secret editor exposed a relationship between Norton and Veal that may explain why he risked telling her of his meeting with the FBI after he was instructed to keep his mouth shut.
As they’re old enough to read, Norton’s three daughters may not have before had the curiousity to conduct an internet search of their father’s name. He’s “Daddy.” They only have his perspective of the events surrounding his life.
This is their first real “public” glimpse that claims of “Daddy” being a criminal may just be true. He probably hasn’t told them he’s been answering questions FBI agents have asked him about the people with whom he did “deals” with while in office over the past two years.
So as their curiousity about “Daddy” grows to the level of conducting a keyword search of his name over the past 10 years, the results aren’t going to make them proud. He’ll still be “Daddy” and they’ll love Norton regardless. But they’ll have a better understanding of the reactions they’ve been getting from people when they’re asked if they’re related to Gary Norton who was once the mayor of East Cleveland.
This was the day I warned Norton about when I vetoed the legislation he’d introduced and voted on to add $65,000 to the safety director’s wages for himself as the newly-elected mayor. I still served as East Cleveland’s mayor and he was the council president in December 2009. It’s a lengthy veto permanently embedded within the city’s records. Some people have an unnatural pre-occupation with money. Norton is one of them.
I advised him in the veto to think of his family instead of his greed. What he’d done was unlawful. You can’t use public offices to enrich yourself. Not even when you think you can and are getting away with it. An expression I learned shooting pool at Eddie’s Billiard’s on E. 125th and Superior is, “It’s not the dating game. It’s the waiting game.” I’ve never known federal agents to be anything less than “patient.” Good things come to those who wait.
Four times East Cleveland voters tried to recall Norton. Each of the first four attempts did not result in the collection of enough signatures; but each effort spread news that contrary to the Plain Dealer and cleveland.com’s covering up for him all was not well with Norton at city hall. By December 6, 2016 former East Cleveland resident and now Houston, Texas resident Devin Branch organized a successful recall campaign that took out both Norton and council president Thomas Wheeler.
Norton was gone but his tentacles in the city were not.
His bag man and former chief of staff remained. So did Veals. So did a loyal King who’d benefitted from the deal they’d created with George Michael Riley in 2014. So did his relationship with a beauty shop owner on Noble Road named Darrell Moore. So did his relationship with James Rokakis and Gus Frangos at the landbank these two evil scumbags created to acquire the homes they’d made vacant through their 3rd party tax lien sale foreclosures in the county treasurer’s office.
After driving for Uber when East Cleveland voters showed his azz to the unemployment door, Norton got the bright idea to get into the demolition business. Of course the place for him to start was in East Cleveland. So one evening Norton showed up to tell council he was going to demolish homes in the city for free. It was his way of giving back. What Norton and Veals indictments show is an idiot who just couldn’t take his lips off what he thought was his personal East Cleveland “tit.”
Let’s go back to December 2016. It’s when I got involved in pressuring local and state Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Butler led to close the Noble Road dump behind residential homes Norton conspired with Thomas Wheeler and Brandon King to manipulate the other members of council into supporting.
It’s Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s job to enforce a contract the city has had with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) since 1975. Natoya Walker-Minor was in charge of keeping the local air, water and soil protected, but she had no RCRA knowledge. RCRA is the Resource Conservation Recovery Act of 1974 enacted by the Congress of the United States of America. The landfill laws are embedded within it.
Had Natoya read the United States Environment Protection Agency’s website she wouldn’t have inspected an illegal construction and demolition and debris landfill 26 times over two years. She would have ordered it closed at the first inspection. Butler, the idiot OEPA director ex-Governor John Kasich appointed, wouldn’t have lied to U.S. Rep. Fudge in writing when she responded to a request from residents to investigate that the site did not contain asbestos.
I followed up with Marcia and gave her the inspection report from Jim Riffle of Auburn Environmental showing that Butler had lied; and Natoya had not ever during her 26 inspections tested the “fugitive dust” uncertified inspectors identified. She wanted the offenders prosecuted. I’m confident that as a former prosecuting attorney and a member of Congress she fulfilled the duties of 18 U.S.C. 4 as “anyone with knowledge of a felony” at her federal level just as I did. It’s why I had no problem meeting with the agents when I was asked by a friend who knew them if I would share what I’d learned.
A letter I wrote to then Ohio Director of Health Richard Hodge to test the nearby residents and students of Collinwood High School and Apex Charter School for the toxins they were exposed to at Beynon and Riley’s illegal dump has still been ignored. In a meeting with Jackson in his office I asked him to assign his health department to do what Hodge did not. Neither the state nor city health departments have ever alerted residents near the Noble Road dump they allowed to exist to have themselves checked by their physicians; and identified the toxins to which they and their families were exposed for nearly three “immune weakening years.”
Norton had done the deal under the guise of telling council he needed the $150,000 Beynon was offering the city through her partner, Riley, to cover payroll. Norton, Wheeler and King had scheduled an afternoon council meeting outside the regular meeting dictates of the city’s charter that limits business to being conducted in public; and on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. That’s with full public participation and resident rights to speak on all ordinances before council votes; and for up to two minutes each after the business of council is concluded.
Zoom meetings are not authorized in any law during the mornings and afternoons if the language does not exist giving councils the authority to use this Chinese government-owned shit in their charters. Some of you fad-minded politicians and government officials are “national security weakening” insane. Your ignorance is killing the nation.
The “afternoon” meeting scheme Norton concocted in conspiracy with Wheeler and King violated the charter, the city’s landbank laws and would eventually violate federal waste disposal laws found in the RCRA Walker-Minor appears not to have known anything about and read. All of Norton and Veal’s current offenses are fully within the authority of the federal government to investigate.
What Riley got was the former General Electric site I’d managed to have placed in East Cleveland’s landbank for future development had I been re-elected. One of the DiGeronimo’s of Independence Excavating had wanted the site to store dirt. I told him “no.” He said he’d buy it anyway, and I told him I’d have East Cleveland police arresting his drivers at the gate if they brought a load of anything behind the homes of the residents who lived along Noble Road. It’s then I took steps to secure the property. I saw a possible “duty-free zone” and had been in discussion with the Cuyahoga Port Authority about it.
I knew from RCRA that there was a “cradle to grave” responsibility GE had for the property and my relationship with the corporation’s officials was good. I knew the site was contaminated with mercury from the lights GE once manufactured in East Cleveland. I knew federal laws required GE to clean it up. So my plan was to get the property cleaned-up by GE and have it readied for development.
Riley saw about $3 million worth of scrap steel at the GE site from the structures that were left on it. He also saw a place to dump in a city with a liar and thief as a mayor. Riley could peddle the steel. Norton would get a cut. Nothing for the city. The place could then be used as a cheap site to “recycle” material. All they needed was council to believe the property would be eventually “readied for redevelopment.”
That’s the language in the landbank ordinance which came with a recapture clause if Beynon and Riley did not ready the former GE site for development Less than two months after council authorized Beynon’s Arco to get the land “readied for redevelopment,” Norton the deceptive scumbag went to the county treasurer’s office without a resolution of council and secretly transferred the property to Beynon’s company.
Norton, Wheeler and King then used the elected offices they held to ignore complaints from Noble Road residents that the site was not being readied for redevelopment; but turned into a 5-story construction and demolition debris landfill far away from any authorized site for the location according to the RCRA. Residents like Harry Drummond said officials like King, and even former chief of police Michael Cardilli, would visit the trailer Riley had set up; and leave after a few minutes.
Norton’s former girlfriend, “Nikki,” told me after they broke up that the former mayor was giving her $700 a week on his $40,000 a year salary. He’d put the 2014 deal with Riley together within months after being stripped in 2013 of the extra $65,000 by voters instead of quitting and trying to sell whatever skills he had to earn an honest living.
Nikki contacted me upset after she claimed Norton had given her a sexually transmitted disease she thought came from one of the other two women in his life. One being his wife. Nikki texted me an unsolicited picture of Norton’s penis she claimed he had sent to her from his family bedroom on Newbury when he was supposed to be working at city hall. She said he was “jacking off” instead.
According to Nikki, Norton delivered her cash weekly. A source very close to Riley said Norton, King, Cardilli and Cheryl Stephens were visitors. Sources say Stephens once contacted Cardilli to get police to release one of Riley’s excavators. The source said Riley and Frangos were tight. The doors closed when Frangos called. Both Rokakis and Frangos were encouraging demolition contractors to use Riley’s illegal dump site in East Cleveland. So was Stephens.
From the money he made scrapping the steel, and his single-customer relationship with Pete & Pete owned by Pete Ristagno, Sr. and Jr., Riley and they made a ton of money. The Ristagno’s last year bought Boyas Excavating for $38 million with the help of Brown, Gibbons & Lang. Like price-fixing gangsters, the Ristagno’s doubled the rates on truckers in April even before the deal was finalized in June.
Imagine Pete & Pete dumping construction debris for $7 a ton illegally instead of $28 to $34 a ton legally outside Canton. The $21 to $27 per ton savings leaves a lot of spread for “corruption.” So does the cost on truck gas for travel.
Pete, Jr. was so gangster he called one of Valley View Mayor Jerry Piasecki’s police sergeants to collect a debt. The correspondence the mayor got from me is a public record. Ask for it. The sergeant made the call from the city’s recreation center to conceal it from being recorded into the police department’s Computer Aided Dispatch. All police phone calls “should” be recorded.
Contractors said Rokakis and Frangos got Riley to allow those with “landbank” contracts to dump at the site for $12 a ton. Otherwise it was all Pete & Pete. Drummond told EJBNEWS the Ristagno’s had trucks piling demolished homes behind his starting at 7 a.m. He said fires from the deadly construction and demolition debris were occurring regularly; and the toxins from it were spewing into everyone’s eyes, lungs, mouths and throats.
Barbara Garner, a non-smoker who lived with the dump Norton allowed Beynon and Riley to create behind her backyard, died of lung cancer. State Senator Kenny Yuko took her story to Butler at the OEPA as he demanded aimmediate ction on getting the site cleaned up.
Halicia Yarbrough, a Cleveland public school teacher, said her mother lived six blocks away and died of lung cancer. Another non-smoker. The dust from the site was spewing deadly toxins into the classrooms of students attending both Collinwood and Apex schools; and contaminating the football field being played on by students from all over the region.
The spread between $12 a ton at an illegal dump site, and legal one for $28 to $34 a ton, still created a lot of kickback cash depending upon the amount of profit contractors were able to write into their bids with the lower fees. Rokakis has resigned after several employees under him were indicted. Stephens got out, too. Norton’s indictment says he’s been cooperating for the past two years. His indictment also reconnects him to Veals.
After I left office on December 31, 2009, a city hall source shared with me that Veals cashed one payroll check at Konni’s Supermarket at Forest Hill Shopping Center sometime in 2012 and then reported it stolen to city hall. She was issued another and cashed it. About $1600 in all.
Norton gave her a $10,000 pay raise instead of firing and / or prosecuting her for the theft and deception. From then on, and maybe even before, she’d proven to him that she was “ride or die.” Nikki told me she had no playing being second Norton’s wife; but she didn’t want to add Veals’ sexual lifestyle into her sexual mix with him. From her perspective she rationalized that his wife was the only one not cheating; and that she didn’t want to take the risk that Veal was cheating on her husband with Gary and on both of them with other men.
So when Norton showed up at a council meeting with his bullshit “free” offer to demolish homes in the city, the two were in the background plotting a different deal. She’d give him a contract and sign Melran Leach’s name to it.
Leach had his own issues being around the funds of the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development with a “federal” drug conviction from 1989 for distributing cocaine on the campus of West Virginia University. Leach and King had been awarding no bid demolition contracts to beauty shop operator Darrell Moore.
Moore operates his demolition company out of the same beauty shop basement on Noble Road that he operated a business where he sold illegal securities and was busted by the FBI for it. Now he operates a demolition company with other people’s equipment; and Leach has asked other contractors to pull his permits under their names. Moore’s company was just given yet another no-bid contract by King who thinks he has the authority with an order he created to spend public funds, especially the federal ones, with his “frat brothers” and friends because the contract is under $50,000.
Moore’s latest demolition contract is for $200,000. No public bidding. No resolution of council. An “in your face” crime that King told the financial planning and supervision commission he was going to make right less than two weeks earlier.
The “unchanged” spending limits in East Cleveland’s charter is $2500; and it is not superseded by a state general law. Some of this is explained on the Ohio Municipal League website curve-graded elected officials don’t read. It’s why to those of us who have read and developed somewhat of a mastery of the laws surrounding the creation, organization, duties and punishments associated with elected and appointed public offices see crimes as crimes; and criminals as criminals instead of candidates to endorse.
Cleveland reporters could have acquired all this information and more had they attended the news conference I arranged with Jim Riffle at Willie Morrow’s home and office on Noble Road. You editorially-malicious assholes decided to cover a starving-azzed dog at the shelter instead. Every single news station. This is the regard you have for the people who own the public airwaves you don’t. Every broadcaster’s license should be challenged with the FCC as none have a demonstrated the moral right to possess them.
While the Plain Dealer is not technically a broadcaster it influences the broadcasters as the city’s so-called “leading” daily media. The newpaper’s publishers and editors, because of their own criminal dealings, have historically supported the elevation of criminals to elected offices who support their “corporate” agend and investment portfolios.
Cleveland Clinic wanted Huron Hospital closed and Dr. Gus Kious told me Delos Cosgrove and Fred DeGrandis knew I wouldn’t support it. Egger led Elizabeth Sullivan and the Plain Dealer’s editorial board to back Norton over me in 2009 despite all my successes as mayor. I didn’t fit into his plans.
It didn’t take much for Sullivan to oppose me as she was pissed because I’d exposed how she had endorsed Bill Mason and Nina Turner’s county reform plan before reading the charter. The newspaper’s reporters didn’t have a copy. One of their reporters asked me for it. I asked Elizabeth how the fuck she could endorse something she hadn’t read; and her answer was beyond stupid. Any flaws can be corrected in a later vote.
The truth she hid was that Terrence Egger led the Plain Dealer as publisher and simultaneously served on the Cleveland Clinic board. He also invested $15,000 of his personal money into the county reform campaign and drowned out all editorial opposition to it.
Norton committed a crime against me and everyone in town knows it. But the media portrayal of what took place was not that I was a crime victim; but I was involved in a sex scandal according to an idiot reporter named Harry Boomer. Tom Meyer of WKYC was a perfect and “vindictive” attacker. All he saw was my azz and not the crime. What a fucking freak.
This town’s media is making it difficult for Americans who want corruption-free government with their endorsements of, pandering to and concealment of the crimes being committed by elected and appointed public officials. So many Plain Dealer reporters have ended up working for the very elected officials they should have exposed. From my perspective their willingness to serve as public relations tools for elected officials and bureaucrats they should be investigating criminally-disregards the truth about their misconduct.
The media in this town operates like an editorial mafia and is not to be trusted.