Justin Bibb’s online campaign finance filings are incomplete, he’s missed deadlines and he’s currently ineligible to assume the office of mayor on January 3rd

Council must obtain and investigate Bibb's campaign filigns to learn if the office of mayor must be declared vacant and temporarily filled until another election is held

CLEVELAND, OH – What’s not in the Cuyahoga County Board of Election’s online campaign finance report filings for Cleveland mayor-elect Justin Bibb are his post primary election, pre-general election and post general election records.  What is in the online records is a pre-primary election campaign finance report showing Bibb and his campaign treasurer, Scott Hruby, as “1st degree” misdemeanor campaign finance law violators.

If the letter of the law is followed then Bibb has no legal authority to “enter the office” of mayor of Cleveland on January 3, 2022.  The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections engaged in “misconduct” by allowing him to “enter the office” of a “candidate” in the “general election” held November 2, 2021.  A candidate other than Bibb should have faced Kevin Kelley for mayor.

Clevelanders should pray that Justin Bibb doesn’t put his campaign committee’s treasurer anywhere near the finance department. Failing to deliver this simple document on September 2, 2021 instead of October 8, 2021 is a 1st degree misdemeanor. The form identifies the pre and post primary and general election categories of campaign finance reports that are due 12 days before and 38 days after elections at no later than 4 p.m. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections had no legal authority to accept this document on the 36th day after it was due. What is not online are Bibb’s post primary, pre general and post general campaign finance reports. If they’re not available at the board of election’s offices then both Bibb and his treasurer are supposed to be referred to the Cuyahoga county prosecutor. The referral is not in the online records.

Section 3517.11(D) of the Ohio Revised Code instructed Bibb, on his own and irrespective of the election board’s election stealing misconduct, not to “enter the office” of a candidate in the November 2, 2021 general election.  He’s also instructed not to enter the office of mayor because the elections board was prohibited from issuing him a “certificate of nomination” to enter the “office” of a “candidate” in the November 2, 2021 general election.  The elections board is further restricted from issuing him a “certificate of election” to deliver to Cleveland’s Clerk of the Council.

“No certificate of nomination or election shall be issued to a person, and no person elected to an office shall enter upon the performance of the duties of that office, until that person or that person’s campaign committee, as appropriate, has fully complied with this section and sections 3517.083517.0813517.10, and 3517.13 of the Revised Code.

Twelve days before the September 14, 2021 primary and November 2, 2021 general elections, and 38 days after each election, the treasurer of Bibb’s campaign committee was given mandatory campaign finance report filing deadlines to meet at “not later than 4 p.m.” and not a minute or day afterwards.

What the Cuyahoga County Board of Election’s online records show is Bibb campaign treasurer Hruby filing a pre-primary election report on October 8, 2021 that was due on September 2, 2021; or 12 days before September 14th.  There is no post-primary election report filed no later than 4 p.m. on October 22, 2021.  There is no pre-general election report filed no later than 4 p.m. on October 21, 2021.  There is no post-general election report available online and filed no later than 4 p.m. on December 10, 2021.

Kevin Kelley had every statutory right to challenge Justin Bibb’s late campaign finance filing.

Hruby filed a 2021 “annual” report that exists under a completely different section of R.C. 3517.10.  The two reports are not statutorily identified as the same or interchangeable; and the Secretary of State’s “prescribed forms” identify each election category separately for the curve graded.  The qualifications for managing a board of elections in the state of Ohio require no more than a high school education.

The pre-primary election campaign finance report Hruby should have delivered on September 2nd instead of on October 8th for the September 14th primary election exists, even if all the other reports were timely-filed, as evidence of a 1st degree misdemeanor violation of Section 3517.10(A)(1).

“(A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every campaign committee, political action committee, legislative campaign fund, political party, and political contributing entity that made or received a contribution or made an expenditure in connection with the nomination or election of any candidate or in connection with any ballot issue or question at any election held or to be held in this state shall file, on a form prescribed under this section or by electronic means of transmission as provided in this section and section 3517.106 of the Revised Code, a full, true, and itemized statement, made under penalty of election falsification, setting forth in detail the contributions and expenditures, not later than four p.m. of the following dates:  (1) The twelfth day before the election to reflect contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the last previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the twentieth day before the election;  (2) The thirty-eighth day after the election to reflect the contributions received and expenditures made from the close of business on the last day reflected in the last previously filed statement, if any, to the close of business on the seventh day before the filing of the statement.”

Pursuant to Section 3517.11(C)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code, it was the duty of the “official” who inspected Bibb’s campaign finance reports to “promptly report the failure or violation to the board of elections.”  The board, according to the statute, “shall promptly report it to the prosecuting attorney.”  The use of the word “shall” makes the unsuspended state general laws mandatory.

Brent Lawler is the elections manager for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Hundreds of candidates have failed to deliver campaign finance reports within the deadlines spelled out in Section 3517.10 of the Ohio Revised Code during his time in office and under his watch, and not one has been referred or prosecuted since 1986 as a 1st degree misdemeanor law violation. Donald Trump’s team can’t see that the election law violations are in the laws officials like Lawler in conspiracy with others do not enforce. Elections are stolen because the elections board is failing to enforce Sections 3517.10 and 3517.11(D) of the Ohio Revised Code. Lawler’s never seen election fraud because he participates in it.

Brent Lawler’s the double dipping elections manager who for years has “suspended” Title 35 with complicit board officials by failing to obey and enforce the state’s unsuspended election laws as written.  He’s adopted his own law obstructing “policy” by considering reports to be “late” without penalties when deadlines are missed instead of referring them to the prosecuting attorney.  In 2012 Cleveland Challenger identified 65 elected office holders that included Frank Jackson and Ed Fitzgerald who had entered the offices of mayor, county executive, judge, members of councils and school boards in violation of Section 3517.11.

Judge John O’Donnell filed his 2002 through 2013 campaign finance reports all on January 22, 2014; and they were criminally accepted as “late” by Lawler and the board.  O’Donnell was never referred to prosecuting attorneys William Mason, Timothy McGinty or Michael O’Malley.  [NOTE:  Annually since I campaigned for mayor he’s submitted a referral to the Ohio Elections Commission for a campaign finance committee Lawler created and assigned to me that he named, “The Committee to Re-Elect Eric Brewer” and associated it with my campaign for Cleveland mayor.  Everyone in town knows I did not seek to raise a dime or hold any fundraising events.  I never designated a treasurer under the name The Committee to Re-Elect Eric Brewer.  It’s fraudulent.]

What’s not in Bibb’s online campaign finance reports are the report to the board from the elections official who inspected his pre-primary election campaign finance report.  There’s also no report from the board to the prosecuting attorney.  In Bibb’s case there should have been a referal for all four missed deadlines if the online reports are over 90 percent complete and accurate.  Cuyahoga county’s election officials manage federal elections the same way.

Section 3517.11(C)(2) instructed Bibb’s campaign treasurer, Hruby, to deliver no later than 4 p.m. p.m. on the statutory deadlines, campaign finance reports that “disclose at least ninety per cent of the total contributions, gifts, or donations received or deposits made or of the total expenditures or disbursements made during the reporting period.”

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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