CLEVELAND, OH – Attorney Robert Davis should have left the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) board in 2011 after I appointed him twice to serve as East Cleveland, Ohio’s representative in 2006 and again in either 2007 or 2008. Instead he told me CMHA Executive Director Jeffrey Patterson and he agreed that they liked his presence on the governing body and he wanted to stay. Each man ignored the statutory duties of their appointed public offices and conspired to remain silent through four expired terms.
Patterson was supposed to alert two separate East Cleveland mayors and councils in 2011, 2014, 2017 and in 2021 that Davis’ term had expired; but he didn’t. Since a date sometime around January or February of 2011 every vote Davis cast as a CMHA board member has been from a public office he usurped and that Patterson agreed to obstruct. Patterson is not an “appointing authority” and his silence exceeded the authority of a federally funded public housing director who was supposed to act in accordance with Chapter 3735 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Pursuant to Section 3735.27(C) of the Ohio Revised Code housing authority board members serve terms of three years. Under Section C of the statute the appointments are made by the mayors of the two cities whose public housing presence are the greatest. Each mayor must have the approval of council. The appointment gives the appointee an oath of office administered by the mayor and a resolution approved by council to present to the secretary of the housing authority board as a sworn public official. The secretary of the housing authority board operates in the same manner as the clerk of a city council.
I once served as CMHA’s chief of communications and as a project planner in the construction division between 1989 and 1991. I wrote the master plan for the first $22 million renovation of King Kennedy south as designed by the late architect Michael Benjamin and Brad Gellart. I wrote Claire Freeman’s performance standards for the CMHA board Robert C. Townsend, II led as chairman. I drove Claire to meet newly-elected Mayor Michael White. On the way back I told her not to fuck with George Forbes over Mike’s allegations. I was appointed by CMHA’s first American Negro director. George James. For 10 years my family lived in the Samuel Gomper Homes in East Saint Louis, Illinois and despise everything about his name. The current director told me the estate was being repurposed and renamed. I led Guardian Angels into CMHA on patrol.
Last year I interacted with Patterson and Davis over the condition of Woody Woods Estates. Patterson had done nothing more than collect rent from the tenants who trusted him to keep the property safe and affordable. Imagine senior citizens with respiratory ailments living in a mold-infected apartment during the Covid pandemic. Residents told me they’d never seen Patterson or a CMHA maintenance director. His promises to pick them up to attend the board’s meetings were never kept. I have video recordings of my interviews with them. I do not play when it comes to people who fuck over people who live in public housing, so I contacted Davis. That’s when I learned no other mayor had appointed him since I did.
Davis told me of his and Patterson’s obstruction, my words, and said he was going to leave last October 2020. I advised him to make sure he did and to notify the current mayor and president of council. Obviously, he didn’t.
Whether the county prosecutor does anything or not Davis is within the jurisdiction of East Cleveland’s mayor, prosecuting attorney and judge and can be locally charged with obstruction and dereliction of duty. He can also be charged with theft in office. Either way Davis has no right to the CMHA seat and Council President Korean Stevenson can ask the city’s legislators to approve charges and instruct the mayor to advertise for a new replacement for them to confirm immediately. If Davis is smart he’d not attend another CMHA meeting or cast another vote.
When I initially appointed Davis I was replacing an appointee of the previous elected mayor. My recollection is that either two or three years was left on the term of the appointee I replaced. It’s why I know I appointed Davis twice to the board.
By 2011 Davis should have been either reappointed or replaced by then Mayor Gary Norton and council; and again in 2014. So the council and Norton’s authority as mayor was obstructed twice by Davis and Patterson. By 2017 he should have been reappointed or replaced by council and Mayor Brandon King. The same around January or February of 2021. I appointed him in one of those months in 2006.
If CMHA’s secretary does not possess four oaths of office and resolutions of East Cleveland city councils over the past 12 years that I’ve been out of office, Davis has and has had no board member authority. Every meeting he led as chairman is technically void ab initio. Federal funds have not been expended in the manner spelled out by laws.
King obviously didn’t know he had an appointment to the CMHA board. It’s what he gets for making the dummy who followed me into the mayor’s office and the idiot he keeps as chief of staff his primary thinkers. Without council there is no appointment.
East Cleveland has numerous CMHA properties in its inventory that are eligible for “Rescue” money going to public housing authorities. Davis has not served East Cleveland in his deception as the board he led as chairman and Patterson have let ApthorpTowers and other CMHA properties deterioriate.
He should have kept his own word and left. Patterson probably didn’t want to deal with East Cleveland’s mayor and council so he stayed. That doesn’t make what he did legal or right. Patterson can expect to hear from the officials of East Cleveland. As his acts obstructed the official business of the municipal corporation there’s no requirement that charges against him be filed with the county.
There’s also another “obstruction” element to the drama. There’s been a competition between East Cleveland and Cleveland Heights for the the second city with the highest number of public housing units. The seat’s gone back and forth between the two cities. The scheme between Patterson and Davis is the subject of both cities as at some point Cleveland Heights has surpassed East Cleveland’s public housing population.
If I were East Cleveland’s mayor and he obstructed me Patterson would be in a world of trouble. It’s a disgrace how he lets our people live in squalor even as the president of Neighborhood Progress Inc’s board. He fucked over the residents of Buckeye in Kenneth Johnson’s former ward … too.
East Cleveland’s council and mayor have some work to do. So does the council and city manager in Cleveland Heights. Director of Law Willa Hemmons should be ordered to investigate and determine which criminal laws were violated with Davis and Patterson’s obstruction. So should HUD’s Inspector General.
Resign … Robert. Immediately.
Section 3735.27(C) is published below.
C) For any metropolitan housing authority district that contained, as of the 1990 federal census, a population of at least one million, two members of the authority shall be appointed by the legislative authority of the most populous city in the district, two members shall be appointed by the chief executive officer of the most populous city in the district, and one member shall be appointed by the chief executive officer, with the approval of the legislative authority, of the city in the district that has the second highest number of housing units owned or managed by the authority.
At the time of the initial appointment of the authority, one member appointed by the legislative authority of the most populous city in the district shall be appointed for three years, and one such member shall be appointed for one year; the member appointed by the chief executive officer of the city with the second highest number of housing units owned or managed by the authority shall be appointed, with the approval of the legislative authority, for three years; and one member appointed by the chief executive officer of the most populous city in the district shall be appointed for three years, and one such member shall be appointed for one year. Thereafter, all members of the authority shall be appointed for three-year terms, and any vacancy shall be filled by the same appointing power that made the initial appointment. At the expiration of the term of any member appointed by the chief executive officer of the most populous city in the district before March 15, 1983, the chief executive officer of the most populous city in the district shall fill the vacancy by appointment for a three-year term. At the expiration of the term of any member appointed by the board of county commissioners before March 15, 1983, the chief executive officer of the city in the district with the second highest number of housing units owned or managed by the authority shall, with the approval of the municipal legislative authority, fill the vacancy by appointment for a three-year term. At the expiration of the term of any member appointed before March 15, 1983, by the court of common pleas or the probate court, the legislative authority of the most populous city in the district shall fill the vacancy by appointment for a three-year term.
After March 15, 1983, at least one of the members appointed by the chief executive officer of the most populous city shall be a resident of a dwelling unit owned or managed by the authority. At least one of the initial appointments by the chief executive officer of the most populous city, after March 15, 1983, shall be a resident of a dwelling unit owned or managed by the authority. Thereafter, any member appointed by the chief executive officer of the most populous city for the term established by this initial appointment, or for any succeeding term, shall be a person who resides in a dwelling unit owned or managed by the authority. If there is an elected, representative body of all residents of the authority, the chief executive officer of the most populous city shall, whenever there is a vacancy in this resident term, provide written notice of the vacancy to the representative body. If the representative body submits to the chief executive officer of the most populous city, in writing and within sixty days after the date on which it was notified of the vacancy, the names of at least five residents of the authority who are willing and qualified to serve as a member, the chief executive officer of the most populous city shall appoint to the resident term one of the residents recommended by the representative body. At no time shall residents constitute a majority of the members of the authority.