CLEVELAND, OH – The Plain Dealer and cleveland.com’s editorial board has done a horrible job of endorsing candidates for elected office. When the newspaper’s endorsed candidates commit crimes in office or demonstrate incompetence its publishers, editors and writers just act like it didn’t happen. Ignore their ongoing offenses until law enforcement authorities step in.
Gary Alexander Norton, Jr. is the latest Plain Dealer endorsed political candidate to be convicted of crimes he didn’t get caught committing until he was out of elected office. Norton showed up at East Cleveland city hall after voters recalled him in 2016 and offered to demolish up to 10 homes for free. After leaving city hall he became an UBER driver. What council didn’t know about Norton’s overly-generous offer was that it wasn’t true.
The ex-mayor ended up with a demolition contract he was given by ex-police chief secretary Vanessa Veals after she signed community development director Melran Leach’s name to it. Both subsequently received a visit from and ended up being arrested by FBI agents after being told to keep their mouths shut about the visits. Instead of keeping their mouths shut Norton discussed it with Veal and she discussed it with another employee.
Veal tried to destroy Norton’s email not knowing the data is stored permanently on her email service’s servers. When the woman Norton was alleged to have been caught with in an uncompromising position Forest Hill Park was confronted by FBI agents about their conversations they each lied.
Norton and Veals’ decisions to run their mouths resulted in federal agents aborting the investigation and holding them accountable for the obstruction. Both were indicted for lying to FBI agents on November 21, 2019. Norton entered a guilty plea in December 2020. He was sentenced to one year’s probation for the felony on May 13, 2021.
According to Norton’s Thompson, Hines & Flory lawyer, John Mitchell, East Cleveland’s disgraced and recalled ex-mayor can never serve in elected office again. He can’t vote and he’s already been globally discredited with all the negative print, broadcast and online references to his crimes in office. His attorney said the public won’t even hear from him as Mitchell pleaded for extreme leniency to help his allegedly contrite client. Norton selected the same law firm that represents Forest City Enterprises. Mitchell wrote the following about his client.
“Gary is a 49-year old, non-violent, first-time felon that no person could possibly claim to be a threat to society. The citizens of the United States, and Cleveland, Ohio, in particular, will not be “less safe” if Gary receives a humane sentence. This is particularly true because of the facts of this case, because the circumstances leading to Gary’s conviction will never reoccur. He is not under any investigation. He will never hold public office again. In short, by virtue of this conviction and his voluntary choice to leave the political arena, this Court should recognize that this will be the only time it ever sees Gary Norton.”
Mitchell’s “help a brutha out” pleading identified the wrong city as the one Norton harmed by referencing Cleveland instead of East Cleveland as being “less safe” from his presence on the streets. In other sections of the document Mitchell submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Dan Polster, he appears to ignore crimes that Norton and his wife committed while holding public offices and employment.
Shalom Norton was a Cleveland school principal when she stole over $10,000 from the treasury of the principals association and delivered a portion of it as gifts to Gary and their children. The Norton’s three daughters now have two parents with criminal records. Shalom Lawrence-Norton and Gary are now divorced.
For each of the six years he served East Cleveland as mayor, local and state records on file with the office of Ohio’s Auditor of State show him annually engaging in dereliction of duty and obstructing the city’s official business by recklessly exceeding the budget council approved. It took him 33 months to return the city to fiscal emergency after racking up a debt of nearly $11 million. Norton’s misspending caused serious harm to the city’s residents when he was unable to deliver an EMS vehicle that would transport them to hospitals during life-threatening emergencies.
Even now the residents of East Cleveland still struggle with the aftermath of the illegal construction and demolition debris landfill he and the city council Brandon King and Thomas Wheeler presided over allowed George Michael Riley to build. Riley is currently in trial and Norton’s name has figured prominently in how he and Christine Beynon acquired the former site General Electric used to manufacture lights at 1740 Noble Road. Instead of ensuring that Riley and Beynond readied the property for redevelopment as the ordinance council enacted required. Norton cut a side deal with Riley and delivered him title to the property without council approval.
According to a woman named Nikki, who claimed that she and Norton shared a child, the former mayor gave her $700 a week in cash she claimed he was receiving from Riley. Norton’s legal salary as mayor was $40,000 annually.
Norton and Delos Cosgrove further conspired to close Huron Hospital in violation of an ordinance Dr. Joy Jordan led council to enact that instructed the mayor not to even have a meeting with Cleveland Clinic about the closure. Norton had zero legal authority to sign the contract the two “teams” of lawyers created.
This information was also concealed from East Cleveland residents and greater Cleveland by the Plain Dealer and cleveland.com since the hospital’s board included their publisher. Terrence CZ Egger. In that deal Cosgrove delivered $8 million to an account Norton had set up without council’s knowledge or authority to receive it. Council’s under Ohio law receive and appropriate all of a municipal corporation’s funds. The agreement signed by this devil-ish duo claimed it was being binding whether council agreed or not. Not so under any Ohio law.
Norton told Plain Dealer reporter Chris Feran he would spend the money to eliminate the debt he’d created by exceeding the budget council approved. This was in 2011. Norton returned East Cleveland to fiscal emergency 33 months after taking office after exceeding budgets approved by council by more than $11 million. Residents of the city never saw a dime of the money spent on improving the city. Feran didn’t return with a Plain Dealer or cleveland.con story that Norton had lied.
The sentencing memorandum Mitchell submitted to Polster acknowledges that as far as his future, Norton’s name is now trash. He’s lucky, according to Mitchell, to be employed as a used car salesman for Rick Case at 49 years of age. He didn’t even want Norton fined.
“Regardless of this Court’s sentence, Gary has already been and continues to be punished for his offense. As the result of this investigation and his conviction, Gary has gone from being a highly respected member of this community and his neighborhood to a convicted felon. He will now be unable to exercise certain civil rights, such as the right to vote. Moreover, this case has garnered significant negative publicity for Gary in news articles published in print and online that will forever tar him as a felon. For those who do not know him, he will now be best known for this conviction rather than his successes in life.”
In private conversations with people with both know, Norton has shared that his life was ruined by this writer. In all the acts described above this writer was nowhere within Norton’s inner-circle as an advisor. The one piece of advice he got from me “officially” came in the form of my decision to veto a self-dealing ordinance he’d asked council to approve in 2009 during a “special meeting” I’d called as mayor.
His ordinance was not on the agenda and Norton knew it wouldn’t pass with a new council. What he wanted was to add $45,000 to $65,000 to the salary of the director of public safety and assume the title and the wages. I vetoed it as a violation of the state’s open meetings laws. Norton and the idiots on council at the time overturned it.
Norton was warned that if he started off stealing he wouldn’t stop. I repeatedly warned him, editorially, to consider his family. Today his wife’s left him and their three daughters have a “mommy and daddy” with criminal histories as thieves and felons they’re stuck with having to explain to all their friends. I’ve always said people will fuck up the perfectly good children God gives them to lead. No bad children. Just bad parents.
They were so young when voters chose Norton over me on September 29, 2009, six days after the day he disseminated pictures stolen from my personal computer to the city’s electorate the same day my father died, they don’t even remember me. Mitchell claimed in Norton’s sentencing memorandum that his client now feels the pressure of the media that has deterred him forever from wanting to hold another elected office again.
What Mitchell shared that I know as a journalist and newspaper publisher in this town since 1978 is that honest public attention can put the fear of God in an elected or appointed public official who knows accountability comes after their misdeeds in office are publicly-exposed and proven. Plain Dealer reporters “promoted” Norton instead of covering him. So did the other media. Reporters ignored that council had legitimate issues with their endorsed candidate’s failure to abide by his oath of office.
Had the Plain Dealer’s publisher, Egger, not possessed an economic and personal interest in closing Huron Hospital as a board member, the news man in him should have stepped down with a warning to his Cleveland Clinic colleagues that he was going public with Cosgrove’s illegal deal with Norton. Dr. Joy Jordan, Chantelle Lewis (Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill’s Lt. Governor running mate), Nathaniel Martin, Barbara Thomas and Mansell Baker had enacted legislation instructing Norton not to meet with Cleveland Clinic officials about closing Huron Hospital. So the contract Cosgrove and Norton signed was a sham and Egger knew it.
Had Plain Dealer and cleveland.com writers reported the truth instead of concealing vital facts from East Cleveland residents and higher authorities an intervention could have prevented the single-most significant act that led to the city’s financial demise. 1100 workers. 300 of them – at least – residing in the surrounding apartments a walking distance from work. $1.3 million in annual income tax revenue. East Cleveland’s #1 employers. An asset left from the legacy of John D. Rockefeller whose destruction appears to have been intentional. In no paragraph or sentence of her June 2011 story about the deal Cosgrove and Norton entered to close Huron Hospital did cleveland.com writer Ellen Kleinerman report that East Cleveland city council enacted legislation instructing the mayor he had no authority to discuss the hospital’s closing or to sign any contracts.
Because of Huron Hospital’s emergency room, the average East Cleveland or nearby Cleveland Heights resident had a four minute drive to health care. The same for nearby Cleveland residents at East Cleveland’s borders. The physicians Dr. Gus Kious assembled at Huron Hospital’s emergency room had become life-saving specialists who were increasing the survival and improval rate of gunshot victims. In East Cleveland was the state’s #1 gunshot wound trauma center. The homicide rate is higher because gunshot wound victims are bleeding out while waiting for treatment. Physicians must be placed on EMS squads. On the scene trauma specialists will drive down the homicide rate.
Dr. Kious and I were discussing using section 749.01 of the Revised Code of Ohio to create a municipal hospital board that would provide free healthcare to the city’s residents and workers. It’s the 67 year old state law that lets city councils tax property owners $1 per $1000 to fund a free municipal hospital like Cleveland had until 1957.
Huron Hospital also had a nursing school that taught skills as a licensed practical nurse and as a nursing assistant. I invested federal block grant training money in teaching the women who wanted to be nurses assistants how to be licensed practical nurses. More money for them and their families.
In the sentencing memorandum, Mitchell, Norton’s attorney, glossed over his 12 years in office between council and mayor. That experience to Mitchell appears to have been the equivalent to a hypen on a headstone at a gravesight identifying the buried person’s dates of birth and death. Yeah. They had a life but let’s not talk about it.
Polster should have heard from the residents of East Cleveland as the parties harmed by Norton’s actions. They voted him out of office because of his incompetence and stealing in 2016 since the county prosecutor and state auditor refused to act. And after intentionally removing him from office Norton kept on stealing from East Cleveland voters through the network of corrupt workers and contractors loyal to him instead of the oaths of office he’d failed in his duties as mayor to administer to them. That’s how the FBI got him.
That’s not the story Polster heard and it’s the travesty in his sentence. Lying to the FBI wasn’t Norton’s first crime. It wasn’t the only crime he committed that got him arrested and before the federal judge. It was simply the one crime in a long list of crimes he committed while in and out of public office that someone finally said “enough.”
CLEVELAND, OH – When Richmond Heights resident Brandon King usurped the office of East Cleveland mayor as a non-resident of the city on January 1, 2018, his friend, Darryl Moore, had only made $3400 in restitution payments to the United States government through the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Ohio.
Moore had been indicted on August 16, 2007 with Leon S. Heard, Steven I. Helfgott, Robert McNair, Mark C. Olds along with other defendants involved in a mortgage fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy to acquire millions in dollars from investors without a securities license. They then diverted the proceeds of the dollars they’d stolen from investors to their own personal uses. Big houses, expensive cars, swanky restaurants, tailored suits and lavish lifestyles. The case number is 1:07 CR319. Look it up on PACER. Moore was “making money moves.”
Moore’s “money moves” led to him pleading guilty and being sentenced on July 11, 2008 to 53 months at the McKean Federal Corrections Institution in Bradford, Pennsylvania with three years of supervised release. He was ordered to make restitution in the amount of $1,425,819.09 on Count 2 (Securities Fraud) and $1,388,777.31 on Count 6 (Mortgage Fraud).
The U.S. Attorneys prosecuting the organized crime gang under ex-U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman at the time were John E. Patterson, Christian H. Stickan, Richard J. French, Robert J. Patton, Alex Rokakis and Bridget M. Brennan. Brennan is currently the acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio as Herdman’s replacement until President Joseph Robinette Biden’s nominee is confirmed by the United States Senate.
Moore’s conviction on all of the “fraud” offenses automatically excluded him from seeking or receiving a dime from any federal contract. He was specifically required by federal law to leave HUD dollars alone; and it was the duty of Herdman and now Brennan in the U.S. Attorney’s office to ensure that he did as the prosecuting lawyers for the federal housing agency Biden has nominated United States Representative Marcia Louise Fudge to lead.
These same duties applied, equally, to King, Hemmons and Melran Leach in his official capacity as the mayor’s director of community development. Leach had been a federal “witness” against Moore as one of the co-conspiring players in the organized securities and mortgage fraud crime gang.
As a “grantee” receiving HUD CDBG funds, it was the duty of King, Leach, Hemmons and finance director Charles Iyahen, including an unsuspecting city council, to enforce the “debarment and suspension” mandates found in the United States Code and the United States Code of Federal Regulations. Moore was ineligible to receive any municipal contracts from a federally-funded city pursuant to Chapter 24 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations Section 85.35. It is cited as 24 CFR 85.35.
Excluded Parties. Grantees must not make any award (subgrant or contract) to any organization which is debarred or suspended or is otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs under Executive Order 12549, ”Debarment and Suspension.” This applies to any CDBG-assisted contract at any tier in the process.
I’m sharing a link to HUD’s procurement regulations every mayor, council member and non-profit receiving CDBG dollars have a duty to know and obey. Citizen activists and journalists should master the regulations as well.
HUD’s website features a list of offenses that automatically excluded Moore from applying for or receiving the never-ending stream of no-bid contracts and “grants” King, Leach and Hemmons delivered to him between 2017 and 2021 without RFP’s, advertising or council approval. As East Cleveland council members read the HUD procurement regulations I’ve shared, its members should view all of Hemmons’ legal opinions as her criminal misuse of a usurped public office to protect how she’s been enriching herself by obstructing and violating the civil rights of their elected public offices. Hemmons has never discussed what she knew about Moore’s garnishment with council; and she’s never ensured King and Leach were obeying federal procurement laws.
After his release from prison, Moore on January 30, 2012 registered 3D Moore Enterprises LLC with the Ohio Secretary of State. His friend, King, was not yet on city council or the mayor. King entered the office of mayor without delivering an oath of office to the Clerk of the Council on December 7, 2016 after Gary Alexander Norton, Jr. was recalled. He repeated the same oath offense on January 1, 2018.
On October 19, 2017, Moore operating under his D Moore Enterprises LLC received his first big check for $39,500 from partners in crime King and Leach to demolish 1277 Hayden Avenue. It was a single family home once owned by a local female pastor that could easily have been brought “up to code” with the same money and resold at cost to a large family.
Four months after King was sworn in on January 1, 2018 as East Cleveland’s mayor, after winning the November 2017 general election with the help of campaign donations Moore had given him, Rokakis, a Greek American, on April 26, 2018 entered a Notice of Appearance for the “USA.” There was a “random reassignment” of magistrates on April 27, 2018 and an order was issued the same day assigning the case to Magistrate Judge George J. Limbert. He retires in 2022.
On May 2, 2018, a Notice of Garnishment was sent to East Cleveland asking for the money “Darryl Moore” was owed in his “individual” name. OPERS was also noticed as it appears to support suspicions that Moore is being falsely represented to the state pension board as an employee and not a contractor.
Gowdy told EJBNEWS she plans to investigate how many contractors and friends of King’s are being carried as employees under East Cleveland’s OPERS account. Hemmons is not an employee but an independent contractor operating under an expired contract with no oath of office.
The federal docket does not reflect the event that “triggered” Herdman to send Alex Rokakis after East Cleveland to collect on the $2.8 million in restitution Moore owed the United States government. It only reflects that from the time of his release from prison until May 2, 2018, he had only paid $3400 in restitution.
Private attorney Hemmons, responded in a June 8, 2018 motion that the federal court should amend its record to identify “3D Moore” and not “Darryl Moore” as the garnishee. Court documents show Rokakis validated the 3D Moore claim with Ohio’s Secretary of State and Cuyahoga County; and wrote the amendment approved by federal Judge John R. Adams. There is no information in the federal docket that Rokakis ever shared Moore’s excluded status with Judge Adams; or that he and Herdman sought to formalize the exclusions with HUD after his “mortgage fraud” conviction.
Moore’s name would be on HUD’s exclusion list but for Herdman and Rokakis’ seeming conspiratorial negligence. Had they alerted HUD officials that a mortgage fraud felon was submitting invoices to obtain no-bid CDBG dollars it would have prevented Herdman and Rokakis from collecting Moore’s restitution.
Alex Rokakis’ garnishment notices were also forwarded to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). It was an act which strongly-implied that King was creating a pension for Moore as a “contractor” that was being paid by East Cleveland taxpayers.
If OPERS is involved its officials were delivered fraudulent documents that falsely-identified “Moore” as an employee. Rokakis seemed unconcerned that pension contributions to contractors criminally violated Section 145.038 of the Revised Code of Ohio.
Acknowledgement of independent contractor status. (A) A public employer who on or after January 7, 2013, begins to receive personal services from an individual it classifies as an independent contractor or another classification other than public employee shall inform the individual of the classification and that no contributions will be made to the public employees retirement system for the services.
In the documents he submitted to the federal court presided over by Judge John R. Adams, assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Rokakis appears to have had no curiosity about the source of funds the city was delivering to the ex-offender who was in real time committing violations of federal HUD procurement laws. Neither did Judge Adams.
Herdman and Rokakis also seemed unconcerned that Moore was operating a so-called demolition company with no equipment and no prior experience out of his beauty shop’s basement on Noble Road. Moore did not even possess a Commercial Drivers License. [NOTE: One of Alex Rokakis’ cousins was seen in East Cleveland doing a walk-through of a home his company was given an award to demolish from the county landbank his brother, James Rokakis, once led before resigning in disgrace.]
What appears to have been Herdman’s only concern in the documents Rokakis created and presented to Judge Adams was the collection of the $2.8 million Moore owed. It also did not appear to matter that the money Moore was collecting was being stolen from HUD. [NOTE: Judge Adams was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after allegations of misconduct were filed against him with the Judicial Council of the Sixth Circuit. The mental health evaluation and charges were dropped against the federal judge on June 27, 2019.]
Annually U.S. Attorneys are required to give “Annual Statistical Reports” that identify action on restitution collections. Herdman appeared to be interested only in building up his numbers as Trump was considering the Jones Day partner to lead the U.S. Attorneys office in Washington, D.C. His nomination never made it out of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
Jones Day recently closed its Moscow office and relocated the Russian who led it, Vladmir Lechtman, to Washington, D.C. The firm has represented the Russian Federation as unregistered foreign agents Herdman did not investigate for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Alex Rokakis’ documented mission focused only on getting a plan worked out with East Cleveland to deliver the “garnished” portion of the federal goverment’s HUD CDBG dollars the excluded felon was obtaining in violation of federal laws from King, Hemmons, Leach and Iyahen in no bid contracts.
The workout plan included King and private attorney Willa Hemmons, who has no contract, no oath of office nor the residency qualifications under Ohio laws to discharge the duties of a municipal director of law, agreeing to send the proceeds of Moore’s “no bid” HUD-funded demolition contracts to the U.S. District Court. Hemmons is a resident of Shaker Heights.
Herdman and Alex Rokakis’ completely ignored their “Misprision of felony” duties pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4 to prevent the theft of HUD CDBG funds from “excluded” individuals and contractors as the Secretary of HUD’s prosecutors. Each ignored, as well, Disciplinary Rule 1.13 in the Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers in Ohio instead of misleading the USDOJ’s employees into a conspiracy to aid Moore in the commission of his crimes against HUD just to collect restitution payments. Neither appear to have cared where the money came from as long as they got it.
Herdman, Rokakis and Hemmons all appear to have violated DR 1.13(a) and (b).
(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through its constituents. A lawyer employed or retained by an organization owes allegiance to the organization and not to any constituent or other person connected with the organization. The constituents of an organization include its owners and its duly authorized officers, directors, trustees, and employees.
(b) If a lawyer for an organization knows or reasonably should know that its constituent’s action, intended action, or refusal to act (1) violates a legal obligation to the organization, or (2) is a violation of law that reasonably might be imputed to the organization and that is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer shall proceed as is necessary in the best interest of the organization. When it is necessary to enable the organization to address the matter in a timely and appropriate manner, the lawyer shall refer the matter to higher authority, including, if warranted by the circumstances, the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization under applicable law.
Rokakis is the younger brother of former Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization creator James Rokakis who aided George Michael Riley and Christine Beynon in creating the pile-up of 1000 demolished landbank properties at 1740 Noble Road behind residential homes in East Cleveland. James Rokakis has long been suspected of being protected by his assistant U.S. Attorney brother.
Alex Rokakis appears to have a conflicted relationship with his East Cleveland involvement since the agency his brother led aided Riley in committing environmental crimes against the city’s residents that weakened immune systems, caused cancer and may have resulted in several deaths. Barbara Garner, a non-smoker, died of lung cancer in 2016. Her son believes the 5-story pile of death behind their Noble Road home was the cause.
No one has been criminally-prosecuted for the illegal, deadly and immune weakening “construction and demolition debris landfill” James Rokakis supported between Collinwood High School and Apex Charter School near the Helen S. Brown senior citizen high-rise and Crystal Towers. What Alex Rokakis wanted was a workout plan and a garnishment.
After Ward 2 residents elected Juanita Gowdy to the city council in November 2018, and she was administered an oath of office on January 1, 2020, she immediately began asking for and was obstructed by King, Hemmons and attorney Heather McCollough from receiving all the information she requested about Moore’s contracts and Hemmons’ oath and contract. McCollough notarized recall petitions against Gowdy that identified Kelly Bright as the circulator that she claimed were delivered to her by Che Gadison. Gowdy defeated Gadison in 2019.
Gowdy, and citizen activists, who were asking the USDOJ under Herdman for help, had no idea federal prosecutors were aiding Moore in his theft of federal funds by ignoring their duties to keep him “excluded” and HUD protected. Gowdy confirmed during her first year in office that U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin’s revelations that Hemmons was not representing the city were also confirmed.
Section 705.28 of the Revised Code of Ohio required every employee and officer of the municipal corporation to be administered an oath of office before they began discharging the duties of the public offices to which they were appointed. The oaths were required to be filed with the Clerk of Council. Gowdy confirmed that none of the city’s official’s oaths were filed with the council clerk.
Hemmons supplied an “affidavit” instead of an oath though it was her duty pursuant to Section 733.57 of the Revised Code of Ohio and her contract to ensure the city’s officers and contractors were discharging their official duties.
When an obligation or contract made on behalf of a municipal corporation, granting a right or easement or creating a public duty, is being evaded or violated, the village solicitor or city director of law shall apply for the forfeiture or the specific performance thereof as the nature of the case requires.
Since he’s been freed from prison, Moore’s 3D Moore has had almost exclusive access to demolition awards coming from the community development department under King’s oversight and his former partner Leach’s management. King and Leach are now trying to give him an $80,000 contract to “patch” a parking lot at city hall.
Like the other awards of federal funds to the mayor’s friends, Leach can’t prove to council that he obeyed HUD’s procurement laws as he seeks to have contracts given to Moore totaling $160,000. When recently asked if the bids were advertised, Leach supplied an email claiming that he asked the Plain Dealer to place the bid notice without producing an actual copy of to prove that it had been published.
Once the documents I’ve shared in this story reaches council’s hands, King, Hemmons, Leach and Charles Iyahen are going to have some additional explaining to do. So should Herdman and Rokakis to the appropriate federal oversight authorities for their unreported complicitness in Moore’s theft of CDBG funds HUD sent to direct entitlement East Cleveland.
CLEVELAND, OH – Noble Road resident Harry Drummond called to tell me he did not want Cuyahoga County officials placing a jail at the site of the General Electric’s former lighting division manufacturing plant behind their homes. It’s the same location where county landbank officials once led by James Rokakis and Gus Frangos sent over 1000 demolished homes.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish called in a response to a text I sent him expressing Drummonds’ concerns. He said 1740 Noble Road was one of 28 locations being recommended. It was not “the” only recommendation.
“I spoke up for East Cleveland because the development comes with 500 well-paying jobs,” Budish told EJBNEWS. “Out of all the cities in the county, East Cleveland needs help with its tax base.”
Budish said he is one of a panel of county officials discussing the location of a new county jail. They include the judges, prosecuting attorney and public defender.
Budish said the county council appropriated funds to hire attorney Jeffrey Applebaum (Thompson, Hines & Flory) to lead a search for a new site. Applebaum delivered 28 locations. Four are in East Cleveland. County committee officials are not releasing the 28 locations publicly, according to Budish, to avoid the inflation that comes with real estate speculators buying a property or obtaining an option on it to drive up the purchase price. He is not the “chair” of the site selection group.
Drummond said he and other residents might be supportive if their paid-up and tax-current homes were purchased at a price that allows them to move into a new paid-up home with relocation expenses covered. At 70 Drummond said no Noble Road resident with a paid-up home has the work-life left to start a new mortgage.
“I’m too old to start over,” Drummond said.
During my administration as East Cleveland’s mayor from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009, I met and attended sessions with officials of the Cuyahoga County Port Authority about building a “duty-free zone” because of its proximity to the Norfolk Southern and CSX’s railroad lines. I negotiated East Cleveland’s $6.2 million agreement with the railroad lines as Emmanuel Onunwor’s chief of staff in 1998.
The property had been used by General Electric (GE) to manufacture lights and is heavily-contaminated with mercury, lead and other toxins associated with manufacturing the products. The railroad lines were the lifeblood of John D. Rockefeller’s ability to transport his oil products from Cleveland to his domestic markets.
The soil is even further contaminated as a result of the illegal construction and demolition debris dump George Michael Riley and Christine Beynon created after ex-mayor Gary Norton, Brandon King, Thomas Wheeler, Mansell Baker and Barbara Thomas voted to give them the property to redevelop. Norton transferred title of the property to Beynon and Riley without a resolution of council. The city was supposed to recapture the GE property after the environmental mass murderering couple disregarded the ordinance for profit; and Riley starting paying off Norton and others in cash.
A General Electric vice president told me in 2017 the world’s 5th largest publicly-traded corporation had a “cradle to grave” duty to clean up their mess; but only if ordered to do so pursuant to the Resource Conservation Recovery Act of 1974. Without the environmental clean-up the site should not be used for a “human” development in an area where factories and the toxins they left proliferated.
If Budish and the county council enforced RCRA and asked Kurt Princic and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to order GE to clean-up the site; it would be ready for future development and eliminate immune-depleting toxins from the environment. The clean-up costs would be borne by GE instead of the county and state’s taxpayer’s.
Budish and I discussed our shared roles in getting the Arco site closed and cleaned. He thanked me for obtaining the environmental report from Auburn Environmental’s Jim Riffle that pressured the Ohio EPA’s former director, Craig Butler, to act. I thanked him for his quick “clean-up” response. I’ve asked him to forward a copy of Applebaum’s contract and the associative public records that approved it.
I think that site’s location has challenges because of its proximity to CSX and Norfolk Southern’s railroad lines. My recollection of the 1998 negotiations I was assigned to handle as chief of staff was the rail traffic would include 35 to 40 train crossings daily. My negotiations included noise barriers CSX and Norfolk Southern had duties to maintain. They haven’t. The building would have to made sound-proof so that no outside noise from the daily parade of trains would keep American citizens locked up from sleeping.
There’s also the issue with the hazardous waste and hazardous materials the railroads are transporting through the city. Derailments do occur even though rarely. Ten times more hazardous materials are released by trucks than trains. If railroad cars carrying ammonia derailed near the jail site, the fumes from the gas would kill the workers before they could release the prisoners. I recall records CSX and Norfolk Southern delivering to the Surface Transportation Board identifying over 145,000 cars that would carry hazardous waste and materials through East Cleveland annually.
Currently, Ohio’s municipal income tax laws allows cities to collect from workers working inside their borders. The benefit of the county jail is that its workforce will be present and in a city on three shifts. 500 jobs. State Senator Bill Seitz and others are introducing legislation to cure what they see is the unconstitutionality of Ohioans working remotely from home and paying taxes to cities where they are neither residents nor working.
The word “jail” for this county’s bedroom communities always brings drama. Budish said nothing is set in stone for “any” of the 28 sites. Who knows, a competing community’s politicians, some who may want it, could have tossed out the East Cleveland story to let residents against it act predictably and remove themselves from the running. Some mayors and councils have the attitude “more for me.”
CLEVELAND, OH – The day after Christmas 2020, Michael Smedley went into hiding and stopped showing up for work at East Cleveland city hall … again. Gary Norton had been indicted along with Vanessa Veals on December 14, 2020. Twelve days later, the day after acknowledging the celebrated birth of Yeshua the Christ on December 25th, I published a November 2018 audio recording of Smedley’s conversation with Ward 2 residents on my EJBNEWS website December 26th.
Smedley’s recent disappearing act is the same as the behavior that drove him into hiding when he told residents of Ward 2 in East Cleveland, Ohio at Apthorp Towers that the worst day of his life was when he saw his name published in an EJBNEWS story. On that day Cleveland’s most influential and informative news website identified Smedley as the “chief of staff” in the conspiracy section of attorney Kenneth Tyson November 21, 2018 federal indictment. His crybaby series of never-ending, whining-azzed lies to Ward 2 residents at Apthorp Towers established very clearly to the streetwise that his punk azz ain’t got no heart.
Tyson’s federal indictment listed Smedley’s initials as “M.S.” under the title “chief of staff.” Tyson worked for James Rokakis’ “county landbank” known as the Cuyahoga Land Reutilization Corporation five federal law enforcement agencies are investigating.
According to Smedley in the audio recording, Tyson did not acquire ownership of a city landbank home with his help. He told residents he did not know George Michael Riley, but he changed and said Stephens had introduced him to the illegal and identity-changing dump operator. George Michael Riley in 2018 changed his name to Anthony Michael Castello in honor of his mother’s family after he disgraced his father’s. The name “Riley” won’t be useful with all the revelations the late investigative journalist Gerald Strothers of 44112NEWS uncovered about Christine Beynon’s “pimp” in his future “scam plans” after prison.
Beynon is on record as saying Riley, or now Anthony Michael Castello, used her love and money to acquire the former General Electric’s lighting division manufacturing site to open a deadly construction and demolition debris landfill in between Cleveland’s Collinwood High School and East Cleveland’s Apex Academy charter school in 2014. East Cleveland council had enacted an ordinance requiring the mayor to retain possession of the title of the property until the buyer of landbank property complied with an ordinance to “prepare it for redevelopment.”
Norton transferred the property to Beynon’s company three months later in complete disregard for the ordinance he’d asked council to approve as mayor. He acomplished it under the guise that the $150,000 was needed to make payroll. Ex-councilman Mansell Baker sponsored the legislation that brought the dump to the city, along with Thomas Wheeler and Brandon King, in a 1:30 p.m. “special meeting” which violated the city’s charter.
All ordinances in East Cleveland are required to be enacted during regular public meetings in city hall on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. The afternoon meeting concealed the legislation from the city’s residents and prevented them from exercising their right to be heard before all legislation is enacted.
Witnesses say Riley then cut deals with Pete & Pete to dump Cuyahoga County landbank properties at the location; and then set up three demolition companies of his own to dump at his own site and to eliminate any demolition competition. There’s a CAD call of Stephens contacting ex-chief of police Michael Cardilli to have police release one of his excavators.
Instead of redeveloping the property, Riley demolished and sold off an estimated $3 million in scrap steel that should have been delivered to the city’s treasury; and then opened an illegal dump he called a “recycling facility.” Norton’s former girlfriend said he brought her and their daughter a weekly roll of $700 in cash on his normal salary of $40,000 a year with another $65,000 as safety director. This is addition to his contributing to the care of his now divorced wife and three daughters.
Baker sponsored the ordinance to deliver Beynon and Riley the property that turned into a tar burning, asbestos and glass particle spewing pile of death 5-stories high. There’s no record of him returning with legislation or the city’s police to have Riley and Beynon arrested and prosecuted.
Smedley also told residents, according to witnesses, he visited the U.S. Attorney’s office to ask federal prosecutors for a retraction of his initials being inserted into Tyson’s indictment. He told residents he possessed a written statement from federal prosecutors that he was not facing an investigation.
All the anxiety Smedley said he was displaying over published facts he claimed were not true seemed rather stupid if he was not M.S. or the chief of staff and had only met Riley once. There was no need for an innocent man to contact federal prosecutors over what I had written. He simply had to take me to civil court with a defamation claim so I would have to prove he’s the M.S. and chief of staff named in Tyson’s indictment.
Smedley was identified in the Tyson indictment 42 days after federal agents arrested his old boss, Gary Norton, along with Vanessa Veals on October 4, 2018. He told residents he was not the city’s chief of staff.
The initials “M.S.” and the title “chief of staff” remain in Tyson’s indictment as he’s negotiating for less prison time. The soon-to-be permanently suspended ex-attorney may have already confessed how Smedley helped him with the landbank property as his role was identified in the “conspiracy” section of his “felony” indictment.
Smedley should have worked a job in the salary ordinance and been administered an oath of office to discharge “some” statutory duty from a lawful public office instead of creating a paper trail of being nothing more than a bag man. He might have learned the word “conspiracy” had he chosen books instead of a broom as a profession before he asked to be appointed as my chief of staff. 18 U.S.C. 371 … Mikey.
Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States.If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.
Witnesses say Stephens helped Tyson set up an asbestos company to receive contracts from Rokakis and Frangos’ racketeering influence corrupt organization. Sounds like another “conspiracy.” Rokakis’ cousin is demolishing landbank property in East Cleveland. Another conspiracy. RealNEO website long ago identified Rokakis and Frangos as delivering Cleveland properties in the county landbank to Frango’s brother Lou’s partner; a convicted Communist Albanian alien organized crime figure named Sata Satka. Yet another conspiracy on top of all the other little conspiracies involving thieves and conspirators in our governments.
Chief of staff is posted on Smedley’s Linked In page. When this human double for Walt Disney’s cartoon character, Goofy, asked to be my chief of staff I asked about his background. Smedley seemed to think being a union organizer for custodians qualified him to manage a municipal workforce of 280 employees and a $21 million general operating budget.
I “generally” told Smedley I was my own chief of staff and didn’t need any upper management help. If he’d signed on to keep the building clean I might have considered him. It’s amazing to me that if this dumb guy thinks Brandon King’s dumb. How dumb is King? I forget. He hired Larry McDonald and appointed him as a police commander. I laid McDonald off in 2008 because he couldn’t write a coherent and legally supported incident report. I assigned him to check on certificates of occupancy before I laid him off.
Any federal agent interrogating Smedley should know he’s as pathological a liar as Norton. If their lips are moving they’re lying. You can’t trust “anything” they say in contrast to the data in public records.
Throughout his employment Smedley has missed months of “paid” days off in a city where vacations are capped, legislatively at three weeks and “use it or lose it laws” don’t allow for vacation accumulation. He’s also being paid public funds to discharge the duties of a non-existent “chief of staff.” It means he’s stealing from the taxpayers of East Cleveland. The title he’s earned is “thief.”
East Cleveland city council chose not to fund the job classification since sometime 1999 after it was created for me in 1998. Richmond Heights resident Brandon King and his bootleg finance director, Charles Iyahen, have conspired to misappropriate public funds to pay Smedley for the job title he claims he possesses with no oath of office or council authorization. I expect to see the word “conspiracy” showing up, soon, in numerous federal indictments as soon as or before the new United States of Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio is administered an oath of office.
King and Iyahen have repeatedly refused Ward 2 Councilwoman Juanita Gowdy’s demand to know how Smedley’s being paid; and how he’s able to order a police officer to arrest a member of council if he’s not or employees do not believe he is the “chief of staff.”
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.
CLEVELAND, OH – Several angry workers from the various departments of Cleveland city hall and off-site have been anonymously reaching out to EJBNEWS with complaints about the way Mayor Frank Jackson and health director Merle Gordon have derelictly discharged the duties of their public offices to keep them and their families safe during a pandemic.
The employees contacted EJBNEWS after the publication identified the Ohio Revised Code sections of Title 37 that Jackson, Gordon and the city’s health board were disobeying in how they handled knowing building commissioner Thomas Vanover was CoVid infected. The same with Governor Richard Michael DeWine and county health director Terry Allan. All have disobeyed Sections 3707.01 through 3707.50 of Ohio’s revised code as the state’s pandemic mitigating laws.
“We thought the mayor knew what he was doing,” said one of the very pissed-off Cleveland city hall workers. “After reading what you wrote, and reading the laws you shared on your website, the difference in what they did and what the law told them to do was like night and day. It is like they’re doing all this other shit to cover up for the fact that they’re not following the laws.”
The workers told EJBNEWS the Vanover story had resulted in either all or parts of city hall being closed on Friday November 28, 2020 for sanitizing and disinfection. Off site city job sites were haphazardly disinfected.
“Those dumbazz city workers they sent around don’t know how to disinfect,” said one employee.
It was confirmed that copies of the Vanover story were made and shared with workers throughout the city. The workers thanked EJBNEWS for the willingness to focus only on how politicians are not enforcing laws instead of the political hype behind the pandemic. They told EJBNEWS the Jackson administration wasn’t even telling workers when members of their individual shifts were affected.
“Everybody was surprised at how on point and specific you were about Vanover and [Paul] Cuffari; and how much you knew,” said one of the anonymous city workers. “You back up everything you write. When you added the laws we could read for ourselves we knew they were not following them. It’s like the criminals are leading the government. They’re not enforcing the laws and you’re putting it right in all our faces.”
“How do you know all this information about what’s taking place inside city hall?” said one. “It’s like you are in everybody’s office. It’s like you’re in the room but you’re not.”
The employees confirmed that Gordon has not made contact with infected employees to “personally investigate” how they acquired the CoVid virus. Their homes have not been disinfected or placarded. They were not given the option of a guard in front of their home. No one told them they and their families would be treated at home. No one offered to take care of their “necessities of life” as instructed. The health board cleared no one to return to work. They did not even know the health board had any duties that were connected to them to perform. Their doctors are just telling them to stay at home. The employees said no physician has “told them” they were being referred to the health board or advised them of their “right” to be maintained with the necessesities of life in their homes during the pandemic.
All they did was self-quarantine for 14 days. The self-quarantine was done on their own and not as a result of any instructions from Gordon or the city and county’s board of healths. The words “self-quarantine” do not exist anywhere between R.C. 3707.01 through 3707.50. Neither do social distancing, sheltering in place, targeting certain businesses for closing and lying.
On their own the employees said they shared news of their CoVid exposure with others. The state, county and city health “boards” and no governor, mayor or county executive have the authority to issue “orders” during a “health pandemic” that requires the knowledge of physician obeying laws the mayor has a duty to enforce.
“I’ve got to clean up my place just in case,” said one worker after learning that it was an Ohio law duty for Gordon to investigate the circumstances surrounding each infected person.
The city workers did not know the health board or commissioner, and not their own personal physicians or wellness check, should be clearing CoVid infected workers to return to work; and that the clearance is required to be in writing. When asked if it was believed an employee’s personnel file would contain a letter from Gordon authorizing them to return work the answer was unanimously “no.”
“They did not tell us anything about the health board,” said a city worker.
EJBNEWSexplained to the workers that R.C. 3707.01 through 3707.50 appeared to give virus-infected Ohioans certain “rights” to be taken care of during a pandemic that DeWine, Jackson, Armond Budish and other politicians with law enforcement duties are not making sure are delivered.
It was explained that Ohio’s pandemic laws appear to have been written with a degree of empathy, support and protection for Ohioans infected with a deadly and contagious virus through no fault of their own. The placard provides “notice” to only the people authorized to enter private property that the people in the home are under the government’s care and protection while they are healing.
None of the employees thought Gordon was a qualified health director. Employees who knew her as a councilwoman were not impressed. Nothing in her background qualified Gordon and her precedecessors to lead the city’s health department.
The failures of each of Jackson’s health directors are widely-known in how they let Christine Beynon and George Michael Riley put a deadly construction and demolition debris landfill behind Noble Road homes in East Cleveland in between Collinwood High School, Helen S. Brown apartments and Apex Charter School. It took 5 weeks out of my life to pressure these mass murdering, non-reading “ignorants” to close it as East Cleveland’s former mayor. Budish stepped in within six months to clean up the deadly environmental mess Jackson’s administration allowed to happen.
Just imagine an American Negro mayor doing this to American Negroes he’s never apologized to for allowing Pete & Pete, Riley, Beynon and James Rokakis to expose them to polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons, asbestos, benzene, glass particles and more for over three years. Over 1100 Cuyahoga County landbank properties ended up behind homes in East Cleveland. Pete & Pete made so much money off the 5-story pile of death they left behind, the Ristagno’s bought Boyas Excavacting for roughly $40 million.
Not a single home has been tested or cleaned; and no person living within the area has been informed or advised to see a physician. Now another one of Jackson’s “girls” is stealing a pension off the backs of Cleveland taxpayers her reckless inability to discharge the duties of a public office are killing.
The Cleveland city workers who reached out to EJBNEWS see the “cause of action” in a civil claim that would examine Jackson and Gordon’s handling of the pandemic in contrast to the clear English language instructions of R.C. 3707.01 through 3707.50. The required “administrative” trail of records associated with the enforcement of R.C. 3707.01 through 3707.50 is non-existent and can’t now be re-created.
The statutory characteristics of the “office” of “mayor” required Jackson to obey the U.S. Constitution, Ohio Constitution; and to ensure that the subordinates to the mayor enforce federal, state and local laws without exception or “creative” deviation with a “policy” that seeks to circumvent governing authorities. Article 1.18 of the Constitution of Ohio instructs every person in the state that “No power of suspending laws shall ever be exercised, except by the general assembly.” Jackson is not the “general assembly.” Neither is Gordon.
What the “general assembly” enacted on October 1, 1953 as an unsuspended law was a duty for Jackson to discharge in his “official capacity” as a municipal mayor.
733.34 Supervision of conduct of officers. The mayor shall supervise the conduct of all the officers of the municipal corporation, inquire into and examine the grounds of all reasonable complaints against any of such officers, and cause their violations or neglect of duty to be promptly punished or reported to the proper authority for correction. Effective Date: 10-01-1953 .
For every CoVid case Gordon has not personally investigated pursuant to R.C. 3707.04 there is a “count” that constitutes the beginning of a series of criminal offenses for which Gordon and the city’s health board Jackson has an R.C. 733.34 duty to cause to be promptly punished. Since for Gordon he’s the punisher and the “proper authority for correction,” the law enforcement officer duties of mayors described in R.C. 2901.01(10)(c) instructed and still instructs Jackson to ensure that R.C. 3707.48 is enforced .
3707.48 Prohibition against violation of orders or regulations of board.No person shall violate sections 3707.01 to 3707.50 or section 3707.53 of the Revised Code, or any order or regulation of the board of health of a city or general health district made in pursuance thereof, obstruct or interfere with the execution of such order, or willfully or illegally omit to obey such order. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 12, SB 26, §1, eff. 5/28/2013. Effective Date: 10-01-1953 .
As the “effective date” of R.C. 3707.01 through R.C. 3707.50 and R.C. 3707.53 were enacted on October 1, 1953; it was in effect when Jackson was administered his first oath of office to make sure it was enforced on January 1, 2006. Again on January 1, 2010. Again on January 1, 2014. Again on January 1, 2018. That’s 16 years. In plain English. It’s the equivalent of a K-12 education and four years of college. It’s also 16 annual cold and flu seasons. There isn’t a law in the Revised Code of Ohio that affects a city that Jackson, a former assistant city prosecutor, should not now have completely mastered along with his well-paid team of administrators and the veterans on council.
More to the point, Jackson’s “only” career has been inside Cleveland city hall dating back to 1981 in the “department of law” where he began as an oath sworn employee. 39 years. K-12 twice. 15 years of college.
Jackson’s had plenty of time to master a 67-year-old unsuspended law for the last 39 years as an attorney, a law maker and now the city’s top law enforcement officer. He should know every law in the Revised Code of Ohio and every article in the U.S. Constitution, Ohio Constitution, the sections of Cleveland’s charter and ordinances now by rote; and so should the employees R.C. 733.34 instructed him to supervise and promptly punish when they neglected to discharge duties.
This level of diligence would have made Jackson “Supreme Court of the United States of America-ready” like the late Cleveland Mayor Harold Burton. Thank God Burton’s was one of the “Brown v. Topeka Kansas Board of Education” justices attorney Thurgood Marshall faced in 1954. He is unequalled as a former Cleveland mayor.
We got free city hospitals “funded” and built from the Hill-Burton Act under his name as a U.S. Senator that Cleveland Clinic’s been buying and destroying. Burton hired Elliot Ness as his safety director. Jackson gave us Martin Flask and Mike McGrath. Two “uncertified” cops.
Gordon’s neglect of duties identified in R.C. 3707.01 through R.C. 3707.50 is dangerously behind Paul Cuffari being exposed to CoVid when he went to Vanover’s unplacarded residence. So is Jackson’s neglect of duty in supervising the conduct of the city’s officers in making sure Vanover’s residence was placarded; and that his home was disinfected, guarded and the employee was cared for and maintained with the necessities of life until the “board of health” gave him “written permission” to return to work.
Now that Cuffari’s been exposed to Covid, a simple request for his personnel file from Jackson will confirm that the required administrative trail of records Gordon should have compiled in her personal investigation is non-existent; and now leaves the city’s taxpayers exposed to pay for her reckless disregard for laws Article 1.18 of Ohio’s Constitution said only the “general assembly” could suspend.