Chuck Hoven at PLAIN PRESS calls out criminal deals at CLE City Council

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 05/13/2018 - 09:24.
Chuck Hoven at PLAIN PRESS calls out criminal deals at CLE City Council
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READ May Plain Press

Chuck Hoven has been around as long as I have been around - and his publication, the Plain Press, predates REALNEO as an archive of political stories.  Please read the May 2018 issue of the Plain Press for his dissection of the Cimperman "fall from grace."  Eric J Brewer has also dissected the problem.


Cleveland City Council needs to change the way it operates to avoid further corruption


by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, May 2018)       The practice by Cleveland City Council of giving exclusive say to the sitting Council Representative over decisions about projects in their ward, in effect, creates what political scientists call “functional fiefdoms” and is an invitation to corruption and influence peddling. The recent guilty plea to 26 misdemeanor ethics charges by former Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman is just one example of what can go wrong by continuing this long-standing practice.


City Council should be in the business of passing legislation that creates citywide policies for programs that address Cleveland’s pressing needs. The administration should then design criterion for programs that would answer the policy needs City Council outlines. Nonprofit organizations and government agencies should then respond with competitive proposals to be selected by City Departments to perform those services.

Having City Council members choose which organizations to fund, is an improper function for a legislative body. It gives too much say to individual council people over organizations in their ward and makes those organizations beholden to the council representatives. It also perpetuates the funding of organizations that a single councilperson favors over other organizations that may have a superior proposal to address a policy priority.

The practice of City Council members all deferring to a colleague’s decision about what happens in their ward also prevents discussion and debate about important institutions that have city wide impact such as the West Side Market.

Allowing City Councilmembers say over expenditures of certain funds also gives an undo measure of power to City Council leadership. The leadership can reward or punish votes by individual city council members by doling out extra funds for their ward or cutting back on those funds.

The guilty pleas by Cimperman should be a wakeup call to Cleveland City Council to reform the way it does business. City Council should focus on the business of passing legislation to create good public policy and get out of the business of administering funding to various groups.

The folks on the other side of City Hall, the Administration, should be the ones making funding decisions for organizations based on a competitive bidding process. City Council’s role would be to monitor the administration to assure that process is fair and meets the policy needs outlined in legislation.

Cimperman is tip of the iceberg


Only NOW do folks realize the inherent reward system in Northeast Ohio.  I suppose it is better now than later.  I suspect every Cleveland Council person is being scrutinized for their votes cast in council and I suspect that this is the real reason Kevin Conwell abruptly resigned his post as chair of the Workforce and Community Benefits Committee:


The Workforce and Community Benefits Committee monitors job participation policies for publicly-funded projects, affirmative action policies, certification of minority- and female-owned businesses and contract compliance with city affirmative action goals. The committee also develops job-training policies and evaluates performance on job-training contracts.   


Meanwhile over on the west side of Cleveland:



Diane Morgan

Ward 14 Democratic Club President

3413 W. 63rd St.

Cleveland, OH 44102

May 15, 2018



Dear Current and Incoming Central Committee Members and Ward Club Members:


Congratulations to all our newly elected Central Committee Members, and to those who have served before, thank you.


We have a lot of work to do in the next year and a half, leading up to the next Presidential Election in 2020. I look forward to continuing our work with you.


In 2015, I came on board as Ward 14 Democratic Club President.  At that time the Ward Club was stagnant, no meetings were being held and membership had diminished.  Over the past 2 and a half years we have accomplished a lot.  We revised our By-Laws, grew our organization, opened the club meetings up to speakers outside the political arena to learn more about organizations and work people are doing in our community and the crème de la crème, electing our new Councilwoman Jasmin Santana and next recruiting new residents to step up and become Central Committee Members.


We have the most diverse representation in the county Democratic Party, reflective of our community.


At this time there are issues and concerns that need to be addressed regarding the leadership of our Ward Club and Central Committee Leaders.


An issue of grave concern is that of the current Ward Leader and the actions taken by him over the past year.


The first concern is: During the campaign to elect Jasmin Santana, he worked to help get a “straw” candidate on the ballot, even though it was unnecessary.  This action was used to make Jasmin Santana look bad and there was never any doubt in my mind that she could win, it was underhanded move.


The second concern is: Within a month of electing Jasmin Santana, he met with Martin Sweeney who was running for State Senate.  It turns out that he received $500 from him (others received $5000), and the next month voted at the City/Ward Leaders Recommendation meeting to recommend the endorsement of Martin Sweeney, if he hadn’t there would have been no recommendation.  He did so over the protests of Jasmin, myself and others.  The reason we were given for his unwavering support at that meeting was that he had given his word.  It turns out that he was given money as a “consultant”.


The reason this is very disconcerting is we have worked hard to build our organization, we worked hard to get Jasmin Santana elected. 


How does this make Councilwoman Santana look when we have a Ward Leader who takes money, some say a bribe, for a vote?  How does this make our Ward Club look?  This action is and was unacceptable.


Additionally, he uses his status as Ward Leader as a dictator and makes decisions that do not reflect the desires of the members of the Ward Club or duly elected or appointed Democratic Leaders in our Ward.


Based on these actions, I am asking that Rick Nagin not be nominated for Ward Leader or Deputy Ward Leader in the upcoming Leadership vote, which will take place after the June 9 Central Committee Meeting, when we elect a party chair.


I truly believe that it is time for new leadership in our Ward. One with a vision to the future and not connected to the old boy way of doing things in the past.


Together we can create a vibrant, inclusive, organization that reflects the integrity of our Councilwoman and this club.


Thank you.



Diane Morgan

Ward 14 Democratic Club President





Mayor Wanna-bee Matt Zone also needs to check his closet

Eric J Brewer writes on FB:

You're wondering why Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley is taking such a light approach to prosecuting ex-Councilman Joe Cimperman for voting on 26 contracts that enriched him and his wife, Nora Romanoff. I have an opinion about his reasons.

O'Malley was on Cleveland city council in 2000 when Ward 17 Councilman Tim Melena sponsored an ordinance to let council divide about $11 million of the city's $30 million in block grant funds from HUD between each of the city's 21 wards. Council had been taking $300,000 a piece in block grant funds since 1995. In 2000 they upped it by another $200,000 to give themselves $500,000 each.

This shit was criminal and a violation of federal block grant laws for council to “appropriate” HUD's money that way but it didn't matter. 2000 was the year before the 2001 elections and $1 million each would give them money to spend thereby creating the illusion in “their” wards that they were doing something.

Michael Polensek was council president. Bill Patmon chaired the finance committee. O'Malley was representing Ward 16 and couldn't stand Mayor Michael White. Mayor Frank Jackson was representing Ward 5. Polensek, Patmon, O'Malley, Melena and crew wanted to stick it to Mike and it didn't matter if they violated federal laws to do it.

Linda Hudicek (Hudacek)  was Mike's community development director. Chistopher Quinn who now leads as vice president was a reporter for the Plain Dealer covering city hall in 2000. He wrote about council's theft of federal funds in a March 28, 2000 story. The FBI and HUD's inspector general should examine the City Record in 2000 and retrieve Ord. No. 135-2000 Melena sponsored. 2000 is the year I joined the White administration as a special assistant.

Linda told Quinn council was creating a slush fund of $1 million each that they wanted to spend without oversight. O'Malley was one of the councilmen Linda targeted in her statement. Patmon wouldn't let her speak at the council meeting where they were discussing the cash grab although it is a “charter-mandated” right of department heads to address the council on matters that involved the department's they supervise. I joined Mike's administration later in 2000 as one of his special assistants and the impact of what council had done was still being discussed

And, Eric J. Brewer goes on in response to a question about the audits:

I can tell you for a fact and without any hint of hesitation that Adam Rosen, as an example, who works for Detroit Shoreway Corporation has submitted fraudulent paperwork to Jeff Ramsey that he's submitted to the city that ex-acting Community Development Director Michael Cosgrove chose not to investigate. Notice how abruptly Cosgrove left the city right before the raid at city hall. I can tell you for a fact that Rosen's time allocation sheets are fraudulent and he's probably not the only one over there falsifying federal "time allocation sheets" in exchange for federal funds under Ramsey. He's an attorney. I dare him to sue me.

See related article by Lily Miller: