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EAST CLEVELAND TATTLER

Issue Number 26, No vember 2012 Nov Send an email to eastc le velandleaks@gmail.com to g et the Tattler emailed to y ou eastcle lev get you

PAY UP GARY!
By CLYDE CLODHOPPER Intelligent voters who were upset over Mayor Gary Nortons $8.2 million deficit and his returning the city to fiscal emergency spoke loudly on November 6 when they supported a council-backed campaign to crush his attempt to keep paying himself $130,000 for three jobs. By saying yes to Issue 48, voters have retroactively set Nortons salary at $40,000 starting with January 1, 2012. Council president Joy Jordan promised that she and her colleagues will be relentless in pursuing Norton and city employees to return the money that he and former finance director Jack Johnson paid them above the amount established for the 2012 appropriations and salary ordinances. A majority of voters understood that the mayor has returned our city to fiscal emergency and that were out of money. We cant support his wasteful spending habits, Jordan said. Were hoping the mayor and city employees do whats right and voluntarily return the money they were overpaid in violation of Ohio law and the citys ordinances. The mayor knows he lost and that the voters have spoken. If hes committed to doing whats right we
JORDAN LEWIS

VOTERS AGREE THAT NORTON AINT WORTH $130,000

LIES REJECTED!
Oh golly. Im going to be a prison bitch. I cant wait.

Newly-elected prosecutor Tim McGintys first public corruption case should be Gary Norton

Council president Joy Jordan says 3442 voters have now demanded that Norton and other city employees must live with the salaries they were given on January 1, and that every dime more than that must be returned ... immediately!

MARTIN

BAKER

Council president Joy Jordan and vice president Chantelle C. Lewis took to the streets with council members Nathaniel Martin and Mansell Baker to share the citys financial struggles with the citys residents, and to ask them not to support the mayors wasteful spending. Despite Nortons three citywide mailings with the got your back slogan this unoriginal asshole stole from President Obamas campaign, the thinkers among the citys electorate ignored the lies the Plain Dealer, the Call & Post and Cleveland television stations helped Norton spread and responded to the truth they were being told by the East Cleveland Tattler. With our help, council beat Nortons azz.

wont have to take him or the employees to court or prosecute them. Board of elections records show 3442 residents voted yes on Issue 48 and 2965 voted no. A yes vote means that the appropriations ordinance

council approved for 2012 is not repealed. A no vote would have repealed the 2012 appropriations ordinance and left the city without a budget for the year. If a majority of voters had voted no, media and government expert Jon Davis said the city

EAST CLEVELAND TA TTLER, NO . 26, NO VEMBER 2012 TATTLER, NO. NOVEMBER

MORE ACCURA TE THAN THE PLAIN DEALER CCURATE

would have been left without an appropriations ordinance and every dime spent for the year should not have been spent. It was right for council, as a campaign strategy, to focus the publics attention on the salary portion of the appropriations ordinance instead of trying to explain the effects of complex legislation, Davis said. My reading of Section 44 of the charter is that voters excepted appropriations and emergency ordinances and made them immune from referendums. The problem for the council is that they had a law director who was lying to them and writing legal opinions to please his boss. They were very clearly handicapped. Davis said the questionable referendum Norton sought had one purpose. Money. Everything Gary did. Every lie he told the taxpayers and the media. Every dollar he raised or misappropriated to push his campaign was all about Gary getting paid. Anyone who believes otherwise is a fool, Davis said. Davis said council has been plagued for the past three years with public officials like ex-finance directors Ron Brooks and Jack Johnson, and law director Ronald K. Riley, who were willing and admitted to committing wrongful acts to appease Norton. Riley recently confessed during an arbitration hearing over a writ of mandamus council hired attorney Darryl Pittman to file against Norton that he advised his boss not to exceed the mayors authority. Riley lamely offered that Norton didnt listen, but it didnt excuse his own unethical and unlawful conduct. The confession automatically triggered a response in Pittman that disciplinary rule 1.13 of Ohios Code of Professional Conduct required the 40 year legal veteran to inform council when Norton broke the law. Riley said nothing to council about his boss unlawful conduct and instead authored a legal opinion that Norton gave to Johnson as an illegal excuse to violate an ordinance that eliminated the $45,000 he was paid extra to perform the safety directors duties. What council didnt know, and neither Riley nor Johnson told them, is that their boss was also paying himself $45,000 to be his own deputy for a total of $130,000 a year. Jordan said council wants Riley investigated by the Supreme Court of Ohios disciplinary counsel. Norton knew he had spent the city into a fiscal hole last November and that state auditor David Yost warned him and council about the $5.7 million deficit it had taken him less than two years to create. Instead of cutting the budget by laying off employees, reducing overtime or enforcing

g row tha t gr that Norton must pay back stolen extra wages Suspicions Spotts is a busing police ab
ordinances that generated revenue for the city, he concentrated only on gathering signatures to overturn the ordinance that cut the safety directors wages. He also let police chief Ralph Spotts illegally pick up an extra $26,000 in overtime that was over the $67,000 in authorized wages council approved for him. Ordinance 127.05(e) prohibits the finance director and mayor from paying or authorizing overtime for every director, including the police and fire chiefs. Violation of the ordinance is a first degree misdemeanor. Records show Norton and Johnson totally squandered two opportunities between January and September to submit competent financial recovery plans to the state auditor to avoid the citys escalation from fiscal caution to fiscal watch to fiscal emergency. He also kept his vow to work part-time using the lie that since council cut his wages he would not devote 40 hours a week to the full-time job as the citys charter required. Nortons decision has stimulated calls for his prosecution. Garys receiving three salaries for jobs that require a public employee to work 40 hours a week, Davis said. Each job requires a separate time card that proves he worked 40 hours a week to perform the jobs duties in exchange for the wages he received from the citys taxpayers.. Theres no way Gary has ever worked 120 hours a week and his actions scream of theft in office. Newly-elected prosecutor Tim McGinty would thumb his nose at the electorates demand for fiscal accountability with their yes on Issue 48 vote if he fails to prosecute Norton. Pittman thinks the will of the voters will be heard by 8th District Court of Appeals judges who are hearing the writ of mandamus council hired him to file. He said lawyers from Weston & Hurd, the law firm Norton hired to represent himself and Riley, have argued that the mayor had the authority to pay himself for the two extra jobs. That argument could cause the Weston & Hurd lawyers to face sanctions because its not true. Norton served as council president when legislators approved a resolution that banned employees from being paid to perform more than one job. It doesnt leave him (Norton) with any argument that the will of the people is that he should get more money. That argument is completely off the table, Pittman said. I expect the Court of Appeals will respect the will of the voter. Audit committee member Gerald Silvera said Nortons wasteful spending and management incompetence should result in his resignation. The mayor must admit that his efforts caused the city to be in fiscal emergency, Silvera said.

authority to tar get critics targ


By JULINDA MIADOLLA Police chief Ralph Spotts appears to have made good on two public threats he made between January and September to have critic Gerald Strothers arrested. Strothers was at an October council meeting after cops under Spotts supervision suspiciously learned three days earlier of an outstanding warrant. Strothers claims jailers deprived him of every right guaranteed Spotts made good on him under the U.S. his threat to arrest Constitution. No Gerald Strothers telephone call. No lawyer. No exercise. Nutritionally substandard food. Bed bugs. Lack of shower. Limited restroom usage. No running water. You have to beg for water and only a couple of toilets actually flush in the jail, Strothers said. A bucket has to be brought in to flush crap down the toilet. Strothers said Norton, who he had asked exprosecutor William Mason to prosecute, visited the jail to taunt him. Have a nice weekend, Strothers said Norton told him with a smirk on his face. Strothers October arrest came less than two weeks after Spotts let detective Scott Gardner seek a warrant from Judge Will Dawson to enter ex-cop Henry McCurdys home based on false information he gave the newly-elected official. McCurdy, an ex-cop, had also been critical of Spotts and is now under indictment for an assault that occurred at his home after four Cleveland women threatened his step-daughter at his home. Strothers arrest evoked a strong response from council president Joy Jordan and vice president Chantelle Lewis who were concerned about his rights being violated. Both are on record as wanting a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the citys police department. The two council members visited Strothers at the jail. They also want to know how cops learned about the warrant that had just been issued three days earlier because Strothers missed a meeting with his probation officer. A law enforcement expert suspects Spotts is letting cops use the citys Law Enforcement Access Data System (LEADS) subscription with the Ohio Highway Patrol to conduct random queries of his and Nortons critics. Police departments are not notified of warrants and only learn of them when they log-on to LEADS. Random queries are illegal and violate LEADS policies. Strothers, who works for the IRS, said jailers did not let him contact his employer for nearly a week. He said other prisoners were also deprived of their telephone rights. Citizens are disappearing off the streets without their families knowing their gone, he said. According to Strothers, common pleas Judge John Russo thought his arrest was unnecessary and released him.

Nor ton bor rows fr om cour t to meet pa yr oll Norton borr from court payr yroll
East Cleveland is poised to make national headlines when its expected that Mayor Gary Norton and his new finance director, Irene Crowell, wont be able to meet the citys $400,000 biweekly payroll. Crowell has been on the job for less than a month and had to obtain an advance against the citys portion of fees and fines it receives from Municipal court Judge Will Dawson to meet payroll on November 1. A Fraternal Order of Police factfinder report observed that in May of this year Norton had a $400,000 payroll and only $492,000 in cash. Council vice president Chantelle Lewis confirmed that Norton borrowed money from the court to meet last weeks payroll. Councilman Nathaniel Martin alerted the Tattler to Nortons cashflow problem and said the incompetent mayor has drained nearly every dime from the citys treasury. Were now beyond broke, Martin said.