Campaign law violator O’Donnell presided over thousands of Cuyahoga trials illegally

CLEVELAND, OH – Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell’s opponents for the Supreme Court of Ohio should take a close look at the January 22, 2014 campaign finance records he filed with the county’s board of elections.  Imagine O’Donnell deciding to deliver the campaign finance records whose statutory deadlines he violated between 2002 and 2014 all at one time on one date years after he’s taken office, twice, illegally; and with the support of anarchist-minded local officials who’ve replaced the Ohio Legislature’s election laws in Title 35 with their own religious and racially-selective “policies” to avoid holding each other accountable.

John O’Donnell can read and he knows the law. He’s allegedly “enforced” thousands of them against others, but none have been enforced against him for his repeated criminal violations of the state’s felony campaign finance reporting laws. This post-primary election report was from the March 2, 2004 primary. He had 38 days before the general election to deliver it to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or he should not have been issued a certificate of nomination. He got one anyway, won the general and didn’t turn in “any” of his reports until 10 years later. Exhibit 1.

O’Donnell should have to answer to the Supreme Court for his own violative conduct in conspiracy with criminally-minded officials at the county elections board who knowingly violated Section 1.18 of Ohio’s constitution when they operated together to suspend sections 3517.10 and 3517.11(d) of Ohio’s revised code by failing to obey and enforce them.

I.18 Suspension of laws (1851)

No power of suspending laws shall ever be exercised, except by the general assembly.

When it comes to laws written in plain English, neither O’Donnell’s opinions nor the policies of the anarchist officials of the Cuyahoga County elections board matter. 

As a statutorily-defined candidate for elected office, O’Donnell, like the board’s “duty defined” officers and appointed public employees, was not authorized in any individual or official capacity to alter his performance of a general and unsuspended section of Title 35 that applied directly to him if he wanted to seek and hold elected office.   As an oath administered attorney, first, and in his “official capacity” as an oath administered and canon-bound judge, O’Donnell knew damn well “statutory construction” required him to “mandatorily-apply” all of Title 35’s language as written. 

O’Donnell should have also known from ex-Tennessee judge Richard Baumgartner’s experience that Chapter 4 of Title 18 of the United States Code required him to report the commission of felony offenses when he witnessed local election officials accepting his fraudulent campaign records to cover for his 12 years of Title 35 violations. Federal prosecutors in Tennessee prosecuted Baumgartner for “misprision of felony” found in 18 United States Code 4.

Exhibit 2 shows a 2006 post-general election report John O’Donnell was required under penalty of criminal prosecution to deliver to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections 38 days after the November 7, 2006 election. December 15, 2006 was the only statutory deadline. He missed it by 2936 days after presiding over thousands of trials with a fraudulent certificate of election he was delivered by th criminals stealing elections at the elections board.


Like the election board’s officials, O’Donnell was administered an oath to perform the duties of a “candidate” for elected office when he campaigned for a seat on the Cuyahoga county court of common pleas.  Among them was R.C. 3517.10’s requirements that 12 days before a primary election and 38 days after a general election he file complete campaign finance reports.   Lawmakers gave voters a right to know who had donated to candidates, and how they’d spent money and complied with laws twice before they made their final general election decision about them.

There were no extended “late” days.  Failure to file is a first degree misdemeanor and in Cuyahoga County the law’s been affirmed by the late Cuyahoga County Judge Robert Feighan’s 1984 ruling in John T. Corrigan’s prosecution of Mitchell Paul for being 4 days “past” the filing deadline. 

Cuyahoga county’s elections board has reinterpreted R.C. 3517.10 and allowed “late” filings past 12 and 38 days by criminally adding non-existent language to the state law that thwart’s its enforcement. The word “late” does not exist in R.C. 3517.10 under the heading “Statement of campaign contributions and expenditures.”  The words “not later than” do exist in R.C. 3517.10.

(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;

(3) The last business day of January of every year 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 last day of December of the previous year;

(4) The last business day of July of every year 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 last day of June of that year.

If O’Donnell did not submit “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.” on the 12 and 38 “mandatory” deadlines both he and the board’s officials were instructed on their next authorized steps in R.C. 3517.11(C)(1) and (D).

“In the event of a failure to file or a late filing of a statement required to be filed under sections 3517.081 to 3517.14 of the Revised Code, or if a filed statement or any addendum, amendment, or other correction to a statement or any amended statement, if an addendum, amendment, or other correction or an amended statement is required to be filed, is incomplete or inaccurate or appears to disclose a failure to comply with or a violation of law, the official whose duty it is to examine the statement shall promptly file a complaint with the Ohio elections commission under section 3517.153 of the Revised Code if the law is one over which the commission has jurisdiction to hear complaints, or the official shall promptly report the failure or violation to the board of elections and the board shall promptly report it to the prosecuting attorney in accordance with division (J) of section 3501.11 of the Revised Code. If the official files a complaint with the commission, the commission shall proceed in accordance with sections 3517.154 to 3517.157 of the Revised Code.”

The board’s officials were instructed by R.C. 3517.11(C)(1) to promptly file a complaint against O’Donnell with either the Ohio elections commission or the prosecuting attorney.    Since he’s campaigned three times and violated the law three times for a common pleas judgeship, O’Donnell should have three referals to the Ohio elections commission and / or to the prosecuting attorney.

The Irish Catholic judge was referred once by the Irish Catholic officials who as Democrats and Republicans controlled the director’s job and that of its compliance officers and election managers.   O’Donnell’s referral to the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) was withdrawn.  There is no “withdrawal” process for a candidate who violated R.C. 3517.10.  The withdrawal is an unwritten “policy” anarchist-minded officials created to obstruct unsuspended state laws.  This type of religious and ethnic “favoritism” is rampant in Cuyahoga government.

Not even John O’Donnell’s annuals were submitted on time. Exhibit 3 and more evidence of misconduct on the part of Cuyahoga County elections officials.

R.C. 3517.11(C)(2) offered a fuller description of the amount and substance of campaign finance information that was needed to meet the “minimal” requirements that would have authorized election board’s officers and appointed public employees to “statutorily” give a candidate more time to submit statements, addendums, amendments and corrections “before” they took office. The threshold was set at “90 percent” and there is no language in any state law that authorizes policy-created acceptance of “late filings” after a candidate “entered” the office in violation of R.C. 3517.11(D).

“For purposes of division (C)(1) of this section, a statement or an addendum, amendment, or other correction to a statement or an amended statement required to be filed under sections 3517.081 to 3517.14 of the Revised Code is incomplete or inaccurate under this section if the statement, addendum, amendment, other correction, or amended statement fails to disclose substantially all contributions, gifts, or donations that are received or deposits that are made that are required to be reported under sections 3517.103517.1073517.1083517.10113517.10123517.1013, and 3517.1014 of the Revised Code or if the statement, addendum, amendment, other correction, or amended statement fails to 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.”

The duties imposed on both the elections board and O’Donnell were “two-sided” tightly-written to spell out just what instructions the Ohio Legislature wanted election officials and candidates to obey by R.C. 3517.10 and 351.7.11.   Both O’Donnell and the board’s employees and officers ignored R.C. 3517.11(D).

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.

Since R.C. 3517.10 set the absolute deadline “not later than 4 p.m.” on the dates set forth in sections (A)(10(2)(3)(4), the companion statutes of R.C. 3517.08, 3517.081 or 3517.13 didn’t change them.  The first two companion laws require a campaign committee and a treasurer.  R.C. 3517.13(A)(1) directs both candidates and election officials to the plain language and instructions of R.C. 3517.10 under the heading, “Failure to file statements.”

“No campaign committee of a statewide candidate shall fail to file a complete and accurate statement required under division (A)(1) of section 3517.10 of the Revised Code.”

The definition for a “statewide candidate” is found in Section (F)(2) of R.C. 3517.10.  So at no time did the instructions in R.C. 3517.10 and 3517.11(C) and (D) not apply to both O’Donnell and the elections board officials. At all times they appear to have been operating in conspiracy to conceal his and hundreds of other campaign finance violators and elected office usurpers from both the Ohio Elections Commission and the prosecuting attorney; and from the voters in Cuyahoga county cities who trusted that candidates and officials were “only” performing the duties authorized by law.

“(2) “Statewide candidate” means the joint candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor or a candidate for the office of secretary of state, auditor of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, member of the state board of education, chief justice of the supreme court, or justice of the supreme court.”

By delivering “certificates of nomination” and “certificates of election” to candidates who had failed to obey R.C. 3517.10, Platten and her successor, Pat McDonald, were anarchistically obstructing Title 35 in conspiracy with two Irish Catholic prosecutors who were sending hundreds of election law violators into “vacant” elected offices to make thousands of unlawful decisions, misdirect public employees with “policies” that replaced laws; all while stealing public wages, benefits and retirement pensions.

Pursuant to R.C. 3.30, the failure to give bond of office, or to file the certifications and oath with the clerks, vacates the office and triggers state and local statutory appointment laws O’Donnell and his co-conspirators at the elections board obstructed.

Except as otherwise provided in section 3.061 of the Revised Code, a person elected or appointed to an office who is required by law to give a bond or security previous to the performance of the duties imposed on the person by the person’s office, who refuses or neglects to give such bond or furnish such security within the time and in the manner prescribed by law, and in all respects to qualify self for the performance of such duties, is deemed to have refused to accept the office to which the person was elected or appointed. Such office shall be considered vacant and shall be filled as provided by law“.

The R.C. 3.061 exception is for a local jurisdiction that has adopted a “policy” that complies with R.C. 3.30.  If no policy then the political subdivision’s officials are required to obey R.C. 3.30.  Even in R.C. 3.061(E), O’Donnell and the anarchists obstructing the enforcement of the state’s laws at the elections board were instructed of the following.

“(E) Nothing in this section relieves an officer, employee, or appointee of other applicable requirements to hold the office or employment.”

The certificate of election is supposed to be delivered to clerks of courts and clerks of council and filed for public inspection.  Clerks are the custodians of the “oaths.”  Without any authority to receive either a certificate of nomination or election; O’Donnell and hundreds of others were not lawfully allowed to deliver them even if the board’s anarchist officials obstructed Title 35 and “accepted” them anyway.  R.C. 3517.11(D) imposed duties on O’Donnell to obey in his official capacity as an oath-administered candidate whether his religious and ethnic co-conspirators did or not.

The example and result of O’Donnell and the anachist election board’s replacement of this state and nation’s laws with their foreign and unwritten “policies,”  has been an American county whose elected and appointed offices are under the complete control of criminals, many who don’t even live in the communities they’re elected to represent; and who have been allowed to usurp elected offices in complete disregard for this nation’s Constitution and laws.

John J. O’Donnell had no legal authority to “enter” upon the performance of the discharge of a common pleas judge’s duties when he unlawfully presided over Michael Brelo’s trial for failing to turn in his campaign finance reports on time. Elections board officials committed criminal violations of laws when they issued his certificates of nomination and election with the report. Guess what? None were prosecuted.

As an example, this writer was a 2017 candidate for Cleveland mayor who didn’t create a campaign committee, designate a treasurer, open a bank account in the committee’s name or raise any money.  Lawler and McDonald “created” a committee in the name of a campaign committee that’s not on any record in their possession under this writer’s signature; and forwarded it to the Ohio Elections  Commission for violating R.C. 3517.10.  There is no statute authorizing election officials to create a committee for a candidate who didn’t raise money; or the committee they created in the candidate’s name to be referred to either the OEC or the prosecuting attorney. The entire transaction and documents are obstructively-fraudulent and have been repeated yearly since 2017. 

When EJBNEWS questioned both election manager Brent Lawler and former director Pat McDonald about O’Donnell’s failure to file violations, his entering office without filing and their own failure to enforce Title 35 as written with prosecution referals, each interjected that the board’s “policy” under chairman and member Inajo Chappelle Davis and other past officials had been not to obey the language of Title 3517.10 or 3517.11 as written.  Their anarchist “policies” were superior to the Ohio Legislature’s unsuspended laws; and the state Constitution their oath instructed them they could not suspend with an obstructive “policy” in their “official capacities.”

In 2013 EJBNEWS confronted McGinty with public records that demonstrated how Platten allowed the 67 judges, county executives, mayors, council members and court clerks to violate R.C. 3517.10 in her official capacity as the county’s elections board director; and that they’d entered “vacated” offices unlawfully in violation of R.C. 3517.11(D).  A candidate’s violation of R.C. 3517.10 triggers individual duties in R.C. 3517.11(D) that would declare the office they sought vacated and would have required Ohio’s governor to appoint someone to O’Donnell’s seat at least twice.

In the true and historic style of Cuyahoga County’s past anarchist Irish Catholic prosecutors who adopted the mindset they have the “permissive” authority to select the laws they choose to enforce, and  the non-Catholic Protestant majority of Christians they choose to prosecute, McGinty directed an obstructive opinion that “cleared” his chief of staff and excused the law violations instead of performing the duties of the prosecuting attorney’s office identified in R.C. 3.09. 

John J. O’Donnell let their 47 bullet killer get away scot-free. He should NEVER be elevated to a higher elected office; and should be jailed for the thousands of illegal trials he presided over.

McGinty’s actions should also spur a review by the Supreme Court’s disciplinary counsel because of the insidiously self-protective way he corrupted the prosecuting attorney’s office to conceal criminal acts that obstructed at least two governors from the performance of their official duties.  Such widespread Title 35 violations would have also triggered an investigation by the Ohio Legislature that McGinty’s opinion was used to obstruct.  It would let lawmakers know their laws were being disobeyed and needed stronger enforcement remedies. 

Recent and past legislation from Ohio’s legislature appears to have been and continues to address concerns about local anarchism coming from local officials inserting their own policies to obstruct state and federal laws.  Lawmakers appear to be laying general laws on top of home rule local ordinances as this state seeks to end the confusion that comes from untrained and even corrupt official in over 1400 communities in 88 counties doing their own thing.

Ward 4 councilman and American Blaine Griffin was the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party vice chairman at the time; and acknowledged the far-reaching impact of the 67 officials who’d entered office unlawfully as being potentially devastating for the unlawful decisions they made in the “vacated” offices they’d “usurped.” 

“Inquisitor” Tim McGinty misused the office of the Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney to coverup for his own negligence in enforcing Title 35 in the manner spelled out by law. The disciplinary counsel for the Supreme Court of Ohio should review the legal opinion he approved when this writer exposed Rino Oradini’s failure to criminally-charge election official for misconduct, and to prosecute the offenders, for entering offices and discharging duties with fraudulent certificates of election and nomination issued outside the limits of Title 35.

Griffin acknowledged that budgets were approved, public funds were spent, public employees were directed by unlawful usurpers, and that usurpers had served as judges and sent people to prison without the authority to do so.  He acknowledged that some had and were retiring on stolen public funds.  Griffin said McGinty was not going to “open that can of worms” and he didn’t. 

After the 67 violations were exposed by EJBNEWS under its Cleveland Challenger website in 2013, McGinty and the board’s election officials created yet another set of policies far outside Title 35’s instructions.  Instead of referring both the Title 35 violating elections officials and usurping office holders for criminal prosecutions, McGinty and the board’s anarchists engaged officials in calls and obstructively instructed that they could “become compliant” if they turned in reports filed months and years past R.C. 3517.10’s twelve and 38 day limits.  Lawler describes this policy as “common sense” though he can’t identify any section of Title 35 that authorized him, McDonald, Chappelle and other officials to create, enact and approve it as an addendum to both R.C. 3517.10 and 3517.11.

There’s no record of McGinty enforcing R.C. 3599.16(A) and or (E) that affirms how far Cuyahoga’s election officials were away from enforcing the Ohio Legislature’s campaign finance reporting as written.  The state legislature’s laws have clearly set forth “zero tolerance” limits for election laws that McGinty, McDonald and Lawler didn’t enforce or obey; and now McDonald is Governor Richard Michael DeWine’s director of the Ohio Lottery Commission instead of an ex-offender.  R.C. 3599.16 exists under the heading, “Misconduct of member, director, or employee of board of elections – dismissal.”  The law is a “felony” of the 4th degree and triggers the federal misprison of felony statute when felony violations of law become known; especially to a judge.

No member, director, or employee of a board of elections shall:  (A) Willfully or negligently violate or neglect to perform any duty imposed upon him by law, or willfully perform or neglect to perform it in such a way as to hinder the objects of the law, or willfully disobey any law incumbent upon him so to do; (E) Act as an election official in any capacity in an election, except as specifically authorized in his official capacity;  (F) In any other way willfully and knowingly or unlawfully violate or seek to prevent the enforcement of any other provisions of the election laws.  Whoever violates this section shall be dismissed from his position as a member or employee of the board and is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree.

O’Donnell’s board of elections file revealed that for primary and general elections during campaigns between 2002 and 2014, and annually for 10 years, his campaign committee did not file any of the 18 reports he was required to file in compliance with section 3517.10 of Ohio’s revised code.

O’Donnell’s failure to file triggered mandatory duties on former director Jane Platten in 2002, with McDonald as her deputy, to file a complaint with the OEC or prosecutor that records show they performed only once.  The complaint, however, was withdrawn with an apology.

Throughout Platten’s employment, and McDonald as her replacement, the two derelict directors never performed the mandatory duty of referring the chronic campaign law violating O’Donnell or other “office holders” to the OEC or the Cuyahoga County prosecutor assigned to them while they referred dozens of other candidates for the same non-filing violations.

Like John O’Donnell, John Sutula violated campaign finance laws and entered the office of a common pleas judge. Of course the so-called “geniuses” behind Judge4Yourself ignored all his illegal rulings and endorsed him. That organization is a straight up fraud that should be immiediately disbanded or otherwise ignored. Afte reading this doing right would require them to seek criminal charges against him. Don’t expect it in Cuyahoga County.

According to ORC 3517.11(3)(a), Platten and McDonald were supposed to have employees audit campaign finance reports at the time of filing “by the officer to whom it is submitted” and then ”accepted on a conditional basis” if inaccuracies were found.  Board employees were then supposed to notify the person who filed the report of the inaccuracies by certified letter.   Those letters for O’Donnell are non-existent.

Judge John Sutula was endorsed by Judge4Yourself.  He campaigned in November 7, 2006 for a term that began on January 8, 2007. His fully compliant “amended” campaign finance report was submitted to the elections board on January 31, 2008 by treasurer Andrea Kinast. 

Sutula then campaigned for re-election on November 6, 2012 for a term that began on January 8, 2013. This time treasurer Alex Sutula submitted his fully compliant amended report on April 5, 2013.  Like O’Donnell he entered the office and presided over trials in violation of R.C. 3517.11(D).

Under Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, lawyers who are judges, and those who interact with them, know this rule.

A Judge Shall Respect and Comply with the Law
and Shall Act at all Times in a Manner
that Promotes Public Confidence in the
Integrity and Impartiality of the Judiciary.

Judge John O’Donnell presided over the trial of serial killer Anthony Sowell knowing he was in violation or R.C. 3517.11(D).

Lawler justified his and McDonald’s decision to accept O’Donnell’s campaign finance reports years after they were required to be filed as being authorized by Title 35.  He said election officials were authorized by law to accept the reports when the violation was discovered. That language, also, doesn’t exist in any section of Title 35.  Even after accepting all of O’Donnell’s reports from 2002 through 2014 on January 22, 2014, there is no record the derelict and usurping judge was referred to either the OEC or the Cuyahoga County prosecuting attorney.

O’Donnell annually presided over thousands of cases knowing he’d violated R.C. 3517.11(D)’s instructions for him not to enter the office of a court of common pleas judge without first obeying R.C. 35171.0.  Instead of being endorsed by lawyers who are supposed to know laws better than anyone else, O’Donnell should have been investigated by them and referred for criminal prosecution.  The problem is that lawyers are worse than cops when it comes to covering up for each other and Judge4Yourself is a joke.

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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