Berea Muny Court Protest For Activist And Journalist Kathy Wray Coleman Canceled Due To Canceling Of Malicious Prosecution Trial

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Thu, 05/05/2011 - 00:48.

 Democratic Berea Municipal Court Judge Mark Comstock

From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com and Cleveland Urban News.Com (

The Imperial Women and other activist groups have canceled the caravan from Cleveland to Berea Municipal Court in Berea , Oh. on Thursday, May 5, to protest before a previously scheduled trial of journalist, community activist and Imperial Women leader Kathy Wray Coleman, whom they say is being harassed and maliciously prosecuted around her writings, the Imperial Ave. Murders, and the activists' push for a state law requiring that all Ohio trial court judges are assigned and reassigned to civil, criminal and other cases by random draw.

The malicious prosecution trial was canceled after it was learned of the protest and because Berea Municipal Court Visiting Judge Grace Trimboli is impersonating a judge and disregarding basic constitutional guarantees.Trimboli, 57, who is neither a retired nor current judge but is illegally posing as the latter in violation of Coleman's statutory rights under state law (O.R.C. 2701.10), was on the Toledo Municipal Court bench last in 2005 at age 51 and did not seek reelection. The Ohio Constitution, however, only permits retired judges as visiting judges on cases to replace sitting judges due to bias or conflict, but state law permits it only on civil and appellate cases and all parties must agree to it.

Coleman is charged with a traffic citation and misdemeanor obstruction of official business allegedly for weaving and not giving her name to Middleburg Hts police on Oct 30, 2009 after they pulled the car over, though she was a passenger and her then attorney Wayne Kerek was in the driver's seat with an expired driver's license and did not even get cited. Middleburg Hts misdemeanor cases that have a traffic citation attached to them that leave the mayor's court after not guilty pleas are taken, are by statute heard in the Berea Municipal Court. 

Coleman says that Kerek lured her to the city that he lived close by to in Strongsville, Oh. and had contacted Middleburg Hts policeman Kevin Hoover to come arrest her to try to stop her from leading a protest on Nov. 10, 2009 at the county justice center over the murders of 11 murdered women, whose remains where uncovered at the home of alleged serial killer Anthony Sowell on Imperial Ave in Cleveland  a week and a half earlier on Halloween day. 

Coleman said that Berea Municipal Court Judge Mark Comstock snatched the case before it could go to the mayor's court because Middleburg Hts Mayor Gary Starr is friends with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, whose Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown chairs the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Board that Starr is also a 17-year member of, where he represents about 39 small cities, including his own. Jackson, she says, is upset with the Imperial Women for protesting in front of his home for an investigation around the murders and for questioning the fact that he is a Black mayor and has appointed no Blacks or women as law director, safety director, chief of police, chief prosecutor of ems commissioner in a majority Black major metropolitan city.

Activists say the insensitivity of Jackson's all non Black law enforcement leadership team contributed to the fiasco around the murders including the release of Sowell from police custody on an attempted rape complaint in 2008 so that he could then go allegedly murder the last six of the 11 Black women. 

According to Coleman, when she moved to dismiss the case before Comstock for a lack of jurisdiction because it belonged in the mayor's court, he stole her bond without a bond forfeiture hearing, issued a warrant and then falsified public records and lied to say she had an arraignment and a pretrial, and had made a plea. She said she was arrested last July with Jackson's help and hauled before Comstock and that he threatened her saying he objected to the activists wanting judges assigned at random because they should be handpicked at the Ohio Supreme Court level and elsewhere and that she could do nothing about it. He then withdrew and former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Brown illegally appointed Trimboli.

Brown was appointed last May to replace Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, who died unexpectedly in April, but lost by an embarrassing 68 percent of the vote in Nov. to now Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor.

Coleman said that Trimboli is going too far and says that she is in essence a Toledo Oh. based traveling henchwoman who goes from city to city impersonating a judge to harass Black activists and politicians. 

What happens next is unknown since the case must be dismissed since it did not originate in the mayor's court as required by city ordinance, though Coleman says she has received several telephone calls from people angry and wanting to do something.

"Sometimes you can go too far and while I will adhere to the law others might not," she said. "Not all Black men will sit idly by and allow anything to be done to a Black woman, though I have made it clear that I support nothing that is out of compliance with the law where two wrongs do not make a right."

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