Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Michael O'Malley possesses evidence of acts of dereliction of duty committed by employees in the Ohio Attorney General's office under both Governor Richard Michael DeWine and now David Yost.

Cuyahoga’s prosecutors let 496 Catholic sex offenders go free

By ERIC JONATHAN BREWER

CLEVELAND, OH – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s investigation of sexually-deviant Catholic priests who abused his state’s residents were transferred to parishes in Johnstown and Altoona from dioceses in Ohio.  Dan Tierney of Ohio Attorney General Richard Michael DeWine’s office confirmed to EJBNEWS that his boss has been contacted by prosecutors working for Shapiro.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s prosecutors have reached out to Ohio Attorney General Richard Michael DeWine’s office to learn how sexually deviant priests from Ohio ended up in Pennsylvania.

Tierney said Pennsylvania prosecutors are investigating how priests who should have been criminally-charged for known sex offenses in Ohio escaped prosecution so they could be reassigned to prey on the residents of Shapiro’s state and others.

Across the nation state attorney generals in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Missouri, Illinois and Michigan have followed Pennsylvania in opening Catholic church sex abuse investigations and they’ve got the same rhetorical questions as Shapiro’s prosecutors.

“How did these sick priests end up in our states?” 

The Boston Globe newspaper has called for every state attorney general to investigate the “cover up” of sex crimes that exists between Catholic officials and local prosecutors and judges in dioceses across the nation.  No investigation of Catholic church sex abuses have been discussed for Ohio.

What Shaprio and other attorney generals are going to learn is the example O’Malley is setting now that his ex-boss William D. Mason set before with the help of Irish Roman Catholic Judge Brian Corrigan in 2002.  Catholic prosecutors and judges have been protecting the church and not justice.  Faith has been placed ahead of duties by officials like O’Malley and others in a nation with laws separating the church and state.  O’Malley and DeWine are both Roman Catholics.

Ex-Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney William D. Mason, an Irish Roman Catholic believer, agreed with the Cleveland dioceses’ request in 2002 to seal evidence connected to 469 Catholic church sex offenders.

Tierney said he was aware that in 2002 Corrigan decided a motion from former Bishop Anthony Pilla of the diocese of Cleveland to seal evidence of felony offenses committed by 496 priests and clergy against 1000 believers in just Cuyahoga County. 

Tierney said his understanding of Mason and Corrigan’s roles in concealing the criminal evidence was different. 

Former Cleveland Catholic Diocese Bishop Anthony Pilla asked Roman Catholic Judge Brian Corrigan to seal evidence of 496 sex offenders and he agreed.

“My understanding of the Cleveland grand jury case was that he (Mason) argued against sealing and the judge denied it,” Tierney told EJBNEWS.

When presented with information that both Mason and Corrigan agreed to seal evidence of felony sex offenses that affected over 1000 victims in the county, Tierney’s response was different.

“As a result of that I will make sure our prosecutors are aware of this call,” Tierney said.

Tierney looked up 18 U.S.C. 4 and  acknowledged the existence of the federal “misprision of felony” statute making it a federal law violation to know of a felony’s existence and not report it.   DeWine’s spokesman said he was not an attorney but would also raise the issue with  “our prosecutors.”

Rev Theodore Lucas’ victim may have been among the 469 Cleveland Catholic diocese officials who were let go when a Catholic judge and prosecuting attorney agreed that evidence of felony sexual offenses should be sealed.

As an example, EJBNEWS asked Tierney about the Cleveland diocese’s handling of Rev. Theodore Lucas; who may have committed offenses connected to the 1000 victims Mason and Corrigan were aware of in 2002 who’d been sexually abused before, during and after Pilla. 

Tierney searched Lucas’ suspension on the Catholic diocese website while on the phone and confirmed its existence with EJBNEWS.  It was pointed out that O’Malley has not brought criminal charges against a priest who’s alleged crimes have been known by the Cleveland diocese since before May 2015.

Irish and Roman Catholic Judge Brian Corrigan’s decision to seal evidence of sexual crimes committed by 469 offenders in the Cleveland diocese opened the door for some to be transferred to other states.

Tierney said the information should have been delivered to O’Malley by the Cleveland diocese. If not, he said priests in Cincinnati were prosecuted under the state’s “failure to report” criminal statute.  That state law would apply to officials of Cleveland’s Catholic diocese if Lucas’ offense was not reported to O’Malley.

DeWine’s spokesman did not say what steps the attorney general would take if a review reveals O’Malley and other Catholic officials are prosecuting and judging Cuyahoga county Protestants and members of other faiths for sex offenses while opting not to prosecute Catholic church sex abusers.  Ohio is 82 percent non-Catholic. 

EJBNEWS also asked Tierney why DeWine has not joined other state attorney generals to investigate Catholic church abuses since there were more offenders and an equal number of victims in just one of Ohio’s 88 counties in contrast to the entire state of Pennsylvania.

Tierney said he would discuss the question with DeWine and share an official response with EJBNEWS.

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.

Reply

Skip to toolbar