James Hemphill is the convicted ex-Chicago/Iowa crack cocaine dealer running for Congress and lying about me to 11th District Republicans

CLEVELAND, OH – When I was entering East Cleveland’s mayor’s office to enforce federal, state and local laws in 2006 as the city’s chief law enforcement officer, my Chicago born and raised opponent for Congress in the 11th Congressional District, James Terrelle Hemphill, was headed to federal prison for 70 months.  Hemphill had been caught with a new batch of the crack cocaine he’d been selling between Chicago and Cedar Rapids, Iowa as a member of the narcotic drug underworld since the 1990’s.  Hemphill told the Cleveland Jewish News he also made trips to Cleveland in the 1990’s when he worked as a Time Warner employee.

There are two federal drug cases in 2006-2007 that involve Hemphill.   Case No. 1:06-cr-00592-1 prosecuted by the United States attorney in the Northern District of Illinois out of Chicago.  Case No. 1:00-cr-00029-LSS-JSS prosecuted out of the Northern District of Iowa.  The Cedar Rapids, Iowa case came with three counts of possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute or sell it.  The Chicago case identified the federal offense of possessing crack cocaine.  Hemphill was prosecuted in Iowa by U.S. Attorney and retired U.S. Army Major General Patrick Reinhart.

Chicago born and raised James Hemphill’s federal crack cocaine drug dealing case.

The ex-career criminal was released from federal prison sometime in 2011-2012 and fled to Cleveland instead of returning to Chicago or Iowa to face or “give back” to the people whose lives he helped ruin.  Sometime before his federal prison sentence, Hemphill told Plain Dealer editorial pages director Elizabeth Sullivan, Thomas Suddes, Sabrina Eaton and Leila Atassi he became “a legal citizen.”  Hemphill was not asked what country his parents were from during the newspaper’s April 13, 2022 endorsement interview.  His use of the term “legal citizen” was not explained.  He speaks with an accent I can’t pinpoint.

In Cleveland Hemphill was 7 hours away from the people of Chicago and Iowa who knew his drug underworld activities.  Here he could remake himself into an “entreprenuer” who “remodels homes.”  In Cleveland Hemphill could talk about “giving back” to a community that didn’t know him.  He could shield his criminal underworld past from unsuspecting Clevelanders who had to accept him at face value.

He told Sullivan and her Plain Dealer colleagues during an online endorsement interview that being a former member of the drug underworld gave him the skills to relate to the “community.”  The vast majority of 11th Congressional District residents are not former members of the drug underworld and Hemphill’s only selling point from what I’ve seen has been to falsely claim that I am not a Republican.  It’s the only reason I decided to research him and share what I learned about him.

My opponent’s voting record shows him voting 6 times from this Cleveland Heights address.

I am a dues paid up current member of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party’s “executive committee.”  It is the second time I have held executive committee member since 2003.  I was an executive committee member once with the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.  On the candidate petitions that bear my signature I declared myself to be a Republican.  On April 15, 2022 I voted for my “Republican” self around 10 minutes to 1700 hours when I pulled a Republican ballot.

Hemphill didn’t know the names of the late county chairman Robert Hughes and or state chairman Robert Bennett.  He didn’t know Virgil Brown, Sr., J. Kenneth Blackwell, Governors Bob Taft and James Rhodes or Akron attorney and White Hat Management founder David Brennan.  He said they were just names to him.

The first time Hemphill voted in the 11th Congressional District was November 2012 after his release from federal prison and his relocation to Cleveland.  Records on file with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections show Hemphill voted 6 times in “general elections” since 2012.  The first time he voted in a “primary” election – where he pulled a Republican ballot – was on August 3, 2021 or 9 months ago.

James Hemphill pulled a Republican ballot for the first time on August 3, 2021 and 17 days later he registered a campaign committee with the Ohio Secretary of State to campaign for Congress as an “Independent” who was now a Republican In Name Only.

Sullivan’s editorial crew at the Plain Dealer did not have the curiosity to validate just what made Hemphill a Republican other than pulling a GOP ballot for the first time last year since 2012.  Hemphill’s voting record since 2012 has been as an “Independent” until last August 2021.  Voting for Trump in November 2020 did not make this “genius” a Republican.  My congressional campaign opponent had not been known for helping American candidates who were members of the Republican Party.

When the Chicago native’s name first surfaced as a possible candidate in the 11th Congressional District’s Republican primary, long time party members and officials in my circle of contacts did not know him.  Hemphill’s only political claim to fame was that he voted for President Donald James Trump in November 2020.  So did I over Joseph Robinette Biden and “fake black” Kamaladevi Harris.   I was told by suspicious Republicans that he was a “plant.”  An infiltrator.  A source claimed he had a brother in the Nina Turner campaign.  Hemphill sent me an email that he didn’t when I asked party leadership in writing for him to disclose.

The ex-crack narcotic dealer and possessor describes himself as a “conservative” but hasn’t identified any issue that makes him conservative.  In conservative nations like China, drug underworld characters are executed by firing squads.  They don’t get to flee from one city to the next with a modified identity and a deceptive new cover story that obscures facts about his past during a federal election for Congress.

Cases on file with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas identify a west side of Cleveland and not a Cleveland Heights east side suburban address for James Hemphill.

When asked by Sullivan and crew how to improve relations between the American Negro community and police with 640 hours of traning he answered “community policing.”  I’m a former mayor, mayor’s chief of staff, mayor’s special assistant, police beat reporter; and I organized Guardian Angel safety patrols in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown to get citizens involved in deterring crime.  I’m also a former safety director.  I’ve hired, fired, disciplined, promoted and prosecuted cops.  I’ve negotiated, signed and managed their collective bargaining agreements.  Hemphill’s answer from my perspective sounded curve graded uninformed; and that was his best moment.  He told the Cleveland Jewish News his criminal underworld knowledge gave him a unique economic perspective to create economic opportunities in impoverished neighborhoods.

Records on file with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and the Ohio Secretary of State show two different addresses for Hemphill, 46, and a 37-year-old woman.  Business records he submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State list a residential address of 3126 W 101st Street on the second floor.  That’s the address the state of Ohio Department of Taxation used to reach him four times between 2013 and 2020 for judgement liens and garnishments.

In this Secretary of State filing James Hemphill’s congressional campaign committee is associated with both the west side and east side addresses. He identifies the address where he’s registered to vote at 3388 Berkeley Road as a mailing address.

Hemphill filed for bankruptcy last June 2021 from the W. 101st Street address right before voting for the 5th time in August from 3388 Berkeley Road in Cleveland Heights.  On records he submitted to Ohio’s Secretary of State, the Cleveland Heights address is identified as a “mailing address.”  The Cleveland Heights home show it being transferred through a “warranty deed” last month to the woman whose name is associated with his at the east and west side addresses on records. Throughout his use of the Cleveland Heights address to vote from since 2012, Cuyahoga County property records show it flipping back and forth and quit-claimed between various “LLC’s.”

I did not know anything about Hemphill before my name crossed his lips.  He admitted to the Plain Dealer’s editorial board that he did not know me.  The first time we said hello to each other was during the online endorsement meeting on April 13, 2022.  Judging from his lies about me, and his refusal to stop spreading them, Hemphill ain’t too bright.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.