Council needs to clean-up act

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 09:15.

Press release  posted at the request of Council representative Brian Cummins:

Council needs to clean-up act, move to

regain credibility and trust




9/12/07, Cleveland, Ohio

Contact:  Ward 15 Councilman Brian J. Cummins, 216-812-2128 office;  216-333-5453 cell


Cleveland City Council needs to act and act more quickly to regain trust and credibility with Clevelanders. The recent allegations regarding sexual harassment, computer tampering and other wrong doing by Council President Sweeney places a shadow on Council.


Council President Martin J. Sweeney made a mistake in trying to offer a large ($56,000) severance package to Council Clerk Emily Lipovan.  The deal was not explained prior to being reported by the Plain Dealer and without proper information and because the amount of the offering was so large, a majority of Council members forced the deal to be taken off the table.


Following the reporting of the severance deal accusations of sexual harassment, computer tampering and other wrong doing were brought to light.  These are serious charges that question the integrity of the Council President and place at risk the credibility of the entire Council if not dealt with in an effective manner.


One major problem in dealing with this matter is that Council is prohibited by the City Charter[1] to meet in closed door sessions to discuss personnel matters.  Council thus far lacks the tools, process or management systems to effectively deal with such a serious conflict between the Council President and Council Clerk.


The Council is clearly hesitant to act without clearer corroboration of the accusations.  But, because the accusations are being made against the Council President, many members are skeptical that this problem can de dealt with effectively by the current Council leadership.


With the Council President denying any wrong doing of the accusations, the Council Clerk returned to her position without thus far backing up her allegations and, no clear plan by the current leadership to resolve this matter, Cleveland City Council is at a standstill. 


The public will not stand for Council’s inaction in dealing with these matters.  Although the problems were kept from being swept under the rug the mess lying on the floor needs to be cleaned up.  The current Council leadership has been ineffective in dealing with this matter thus far.


Council needs to investigate the serious allegations of wrong doing and begin a process to regain credibility and trust within the eyes of the public we serve.  This problem can not be dealt with effectively by any single Council member or by the existing Council leadership alone. 


I call on my colleagues in City Council to work with me in identifying and developing the proper tools and processes to deal with these matters effectively and fairly with a level of appropriate transparency so we can move forward unfettered in dealing with the important challenges we face as a City.


[1] Charter of City of Cleveland, Chapter 5 - The Council, Section 28 - Meetings of Council,





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The recent effort to use tax dollars as hush money in Cleveland City Council is just the tip of the iceberg here in NEO.  And how about the police department?

A month ago our NorthEastOhioRegionalSewerDistrict (NEORSD)sewer money WAS used to buy silence and further improperly benefit a thirty year double dealing, professionally unethical sewer attorney.  Where was the PD on that one?

So why would a business, or our youth, want to set up shop or live here?

Neo's headed down...

Opinion on sexual

Opinion on sexual harassments is very subjective; it is not limited to solicitation for sex, it can also relate to denied consideration as a gender equal. Something obviously went wrong, since Lipovan at one time had been referred to as part of “Team Sweeney”, did she fall from grace or did she loose interest in the political forum or both. 


At certain level positions, severance is typical.  If you make claims of sexual harassment and then resign the severance get negotiated, then it is final, accepting it is a settlement further action can not be taken related to that position.  I suspect that Lipovan wanted to leave and threw out the harassment card on queue; it gave her leveraging power on severance.  


I believe this is, and it is only my opinion, its is more of Lipovan saying “if I was a man he would not have snooped on my computer” rather than“Hey clerk come over here and sit on the councilman’s lap”     


Once she takes the check that is it, you will never hear about it, it is a settlement and you can bet it includes no talking about it. If the council thinks it was too much then perhaps he should take pen to paper at write some severance limitations legislation.


I never have heard of anyone getting over 6 months salary for severance, but then again this person had an angle. By the way they are over paying for that position, this is not California. 82K please, that is high!         

CDC poll tax

  This may seem off-topic, but not really, since I am playing off Jeff's theory that everything is rigged and fixed in this city to benefit the few and screw the many-and the ship is sinking (I have to sadly concur, but we can still claw our way to the top of the pile for air). 

My local CDC Old Brooklyn Development Corporation  charges a poll tax (they call it membership dues) on residents who would consider voting at their annual meeting...what do you say to that Oengus?  Are there certain members of the community they want to exclude from voting?? 


On discussion on this topic last eve I heard that Brian once ran for office against Lipovan.  If so, Mr Cummin's should have mentioned this in his letter -  If there is close- competition history between Lipovan and Cummins then the public should know about this history in order to shade our reactions to Mr. Cummins call for further investigation in City Council.

Offended yet?

I do not think Cummins is acting in malice; he seems to think the matter is of public concern, and it is to the extent of the extremely high salary and severance they are offering. 


He did run against her for the 15th ward, that is over and she is out of politics. If Lipovan has been offered the severance and accepted it, it is done deal; Cummins should know that, if the attorneys for the city say pay her, then it is to end it.   He can say we need to know the details and I am sure the attorneys love him for saying that since they decided to let her go.  The whole sexual harassment thing makes people think the worst Lipovan is smart. All you have to do is say it is and it becomes it.    


Cummins works with these people and then makes a press release saying we need to know, it makes you wonder.  He would be more knowledgeable about the persons and there interactions then anyone, he works with them. 


What is it Brian, was it a love affair gone wrong? 

Does Sweeney have a problem? 

Does Lipovan have problem?   


I have a problem with the council clerk making 82k a year and then getting a very high severance when she decides to leave.  If the city can set limits on severance pay and if a person goes beyond it then it could be forced into court, did Sweeney “break rules” or did he break laws?     


Lipovan said, “ I miss the real estate and development deals” she was unhappy.  She took a good swipe at the city council president as she walks out the door.   Raking in 82K a year and getting 56K out the door, heck she can get some real estate developments going on her own, bet Sweeney’s wife is loving it.  Bet Katherine would like to kick the Romanian Orthodox bitches ass.    


We will never know what happened, and as private citizens we an only imagine and embellish, Brian cannot but I can.  What I know for sure is that Sweeney is a jock and Lipovan has big air and dresses poorly.   There is a chance that they were playing touchy feely with each other.  He may have said I am married and cannot leave my wife.   Lipovan I typical eastern woman fashion decided to really screw him over.    

Brian?  Am I close?  Answer “we will never no” if I am!  

the value of vanquishing enemies

Oengus, a weak suit would do well to vanquish enemies. If Emily is no longer the council clerk and still living in Ward 15, she might pose a serious threat to Brian's job security. Viewed in that light, the light of today, shining toward the not-too-distant future, Brian's puffery may very well be self-serving; he may be trying to inoculate himself against the virus of our talking to each other.

Brian Cummins is not Van

Brian Cummins is not Van Helsing, Sweeney pulled the legislation, is it true?   I want to know how this person was harassed and what is snooping.


I hear her violin but it is out of tune, nothing about her spells victim. 


Except for her sense of fashion,


I think I see shoulder pads?  what year is it 1985?  what Emily?  he treated you like what a bimbo? 


Do not judge people by their appearance, Lipovan is not a Victim, she may look like stripper from Brookpark Road but she is a very tenacious person.    


Council Saga

Here is the story as reported  in the Brooklyn Sun Journal.  (Lipovan's ex-Mark Holan works for the Sun Press). See the prediction at the end.  Read--Santiago, Cimperman, Lipovan, Sheryl Hoffman and Abe Bruckmann in Ohio City.  Yes, Jeff--Brian ran against Emily or Emily ran against Brian.  Brian is council's odd-man-out.  While, he can be exasperatingly convoluted  and prone to too much analysis, he is not malevolent.  He has been compromised in the past by Gordon, by Lipovan and others.  He ran the CDC, which continues to be a money vortex, due its current rigged board and director--see my comments about the poll tax imposed on residents who might consider oversight of this mess.  Also, ask why the PD does not criticize Jackson and Triozzi for approving the hush money payout in the first place?
Here is the latest...pathetic news.  Great, now the attorneys will make more than it cost to dispose of the  Lipovan-Sweeney mess in the first place.  What a scam on the taxpayers.  Cleveland City Council--you should all be ashamed to have allowed childish personal behavior and cozy relationships rob this city. 

Ever tell a co-worker you

Ever tell a co-worker you prefer to go commando? 


Other women working for and around Council have told Channel Three Reporter Tom Beres Sweeney's behavior is sometimes offensive. But none wanted to go public. Other female council employees claim they've had no trouble with Sweeney.


Is Sweeney and idiot?   He is a middle-aged jock with comb over.  Actually a comb down.  


 Sweeney's gofer, council aide Nick Martin, has been accused of rifling through Lipovan's computer.   
Phillip Morris

Plain Dealer Columnist


What is this?  "quick Nick go delete that picture of my penis I sent to her?"  




Some times people say stupid things, men somtimes say dirty things, sometimes people say something and forget they say it, some people keep thinking about something a person said way after they forgot they said it. 


I do not care, on rare opportuity we got to see a city hall salaries 82,000, give me break. That is more than a county commisioner, too much!   I could watch Fanney Lewis dance in her underwear for that pay, what hell was so bad that poor Emily could not stand it.    

Girl power, Emily Lipovan now has control of the council president, she keeps it up and next thing you know she may get offered a position on Hilary Clintons staff.  But she is already earning more than what half the Presidential Staff  is making.   



Council needs to clean-up act

Back to the original subject of Brian's message - "Council needs to clean-up act"... it would be interesting to analyze our council members more strategically and hold them more accountable on the issues we consider important.

For example, when it comes to the issue of lead poisoning, all council members are complete disgraces ... all get "F" - I have been a co-chair of the GCLAC for around two years and have never seen any of them at a meeting or at our annual meeting, as their neighborhoods die of lead ;poisoning... yes, they must ALL clean up their acts and get real about what matters instead of playing a bunch of BS political games.

Open invitation to all council members to attend my next GCLAC I&S subcommittee meeting and the next GCLAC Steering Committee meeting - email me for dates and times at norm [at] realneo [dot] us

What else should we score council on and how are they doing?

Disrupt IT

If you set up a puppet, you have to be sure he can dance.

See Roldo's comments.  The same can be said of our local CDC.  What motivates these people to serve on the board? We know Abe Bruckman has to rubber stamp everything for the wife, which to my understanding, presents a conflict of interest and yet--Darren Hamm was refused as a board candidate, because his wife serves as the executive assistant to Council rep Cummins.  But what about the others?  What's in it for them?   I coughed up the $15.00 poll tax to vote at their annual election and I am presented with a slate.  No choice.  Here you go--sucker. 


There is no shame in this town.  No one questions the money squandered on this sordid ordeal.  More money than the original hush money proposed is spent to make this scandal go away.  Tax payers money.   Money that could be spent to put a roof over a family's head this holiday season.  There is no shame in this town.


  This editorial appeared in the Sunday Plain Dealer 12/9/2007.  I could not agree more.

Sex harassment case needs further vetting

If Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney is innocent, as Councilman Tony Brancatelli suggested in his comments in Wednesday's Plain Dealer, then he should fight to clear his good name, and council should fully support him in this effort. Handing out a generous settlement at taxpayers' expense, while simultaneously suggesting that the charges are false, sends the message that any City Hall employee can make a bogus sexual harassment claim in exchange for a big, secret payday.

If, however, the councilman is guilty, it is he, and not the victim, who should lose his job. A city whose needs are as dire as Cleveland's needs strong, uncompromised leadership, not leaders who feel they have enough leisure time on the job to engage in lewd, illegal behavior.

Michael Ruffing, Cleveland

Idiot fest