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Tag: Cuyahoga County

Prosecutor Delivers 15-Minute Speech After Grand Jury Decision in Tamir Rice Case

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A grand jury on Monday decided not to indict two police officers who fatally shot Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was playing with a pellet gun.

Here is the transcript of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s speech after the grand jury decision:

One promise I made was to fundamentally change how cases are handled when a police officer kills a civilian, to end the traditional system where the prosecutor privately reviewed police reports, then decided whether an officer should be charged. That secrecy, which appeared arbitrary, without a public investigative report, undermined community confidence. It was clear we needed a more rigorous, independent investigation of police use-of-deadly-force cases.

Although not required by Ohio law, I now have all evidence reviewed not just by the prosecutor in these cases or this office but by the citizens of the grand jury sitting as an investigative panel to hear all the evidence and make the final call. Our office also shares with the public completed, independent investigative reports so that there will be no mystery about what occurred or rumors in a citizen’s death. This transparency gives our community an opportunity to correct errors — in policy, training, tactics, hiring, equipment — far more quickly, instead of waiting sometimes years until the opportunity and enthusiasm for reform are lost, the lessons are forgotten. Here, we want the lessons learned and applied.

Today the grand jury completed its thorough investigation of the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on (Nov.) 22, 2014, at the Cuddell Recreation Center. Based on the evidence they heard and the law as it applies to police use of deadly force, the grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. That was also my recommendation and that of our office after reviewing the investigation and the law.

A short time ago, we informed Tamir’s mother of the grand jury’s decision. It was a tough conversation. We again expressed the condolences of our office, the sheriff’s detectives and everyone else who has worked so diligently on this case and our sincere wish that these events on that traumatic day at the Cuddell rec center had unfolded differently. She was broken up, and it’s very hard. We explained to her that this was a difficult decision also but that to charge police, even in a situation that was as undeniably tragic as the death of her son, the state must be able to show that the officers acted outside the constitutional boundaries set forward by the Supreme Court of these United States.

Read more »

FBI Agent Christine Oliver Who Helped Lead Probe in Ohio Public Corruption Probe Moving to New Assignment

By James F. McCarty
The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND — FBI Agent Christine Oliver’s introduction to Cleveland, where she would play a significant role in the biggest public corruption case in Ohio history, began inauspiciously.

Before graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., Oliver and the rest of the class of 1997 participated in the traditional listing of preferences for their first assignments, ranking the nation’s FBI offices from one to 56. A lifelong resident of the East Coast, Oliver ranked the Cleveland office 39th. No classmate received a lower-ranked assignment.

“The only thing I knew about Cleveland was that it was cold and I had never been there,” Oliver recalled last week. “I wanted to work closer to home.”

Oliver feels much differently about the city now as she prepares for an out-of-state transfer. This past week, her last in the Cleveland office, she agreed to talk about her 15 years in Northeast Ohio and her work on the region’s highest-profile investigations of corruption in Cuyahoga County government and elsewhere.

To read full story click here.

Prof Who Helped FBI Probe Mortgage Fraud Indicted in Mortgage Scheme

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A college professor who helped the FBI investigate mortgage fraud cases was indicted Thursday for running a similar scam, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Paul Tomko, an adjunct professor Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio, faces eight counts of fraud and conspiracy and making false statements to his probation officer.

Tomko, 39, told the Plain Dealer he is innocent.

“I have no idea what they’re talking about,” he said. “We certainly plan to fight this.”

In 2007 and 2008, the FBI paid Tomko $27,000 to help agents in mortgage fraud investigations.

Ex-Ohio Judge Convicted of Lying to FBI

Judge Bridget McCafferty/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It could be prison time for a former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Bridget McCafferty in Ohio, who was convicted on Friday in federal court of 10 counts of lying to the FBI,  the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Authorities charged that she lied to agents investigating a political ally, then-County Auditor Frank Russo, and improper influence in the court, the paper reported. Each count carries a maximum of five years in prison.

Authorities claim the judge lied to FBI agent who came to her Westlake, Ohio home on Sept. 23, 2008, the Plain Dealer reported. The paper reported in closing arguments that the prosecutor said she lied because she didn’t want to help the FBI build a case and she wanted to avoid public embarrassment as a judge.

Sentencing is set for June 2.

Former and Current U.S. Attorney Deny Investigation of Ohio County Commissioner is Politically Motivated