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Sympathy For The Devil 

More Local Dirt

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William D. Mason recently changed his name in order to promote a friendlier image. He now goes by "the prosecutor formerly known as William D. Mason", a title that is represented by the middle- finger symbol. Actually, he goes by "Bill Mason" now. Receptionists answering the phones at the justice center have been instructed to use his nickname when answering the phones (as in "Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Mason's office, how can we deny you due process today?") and his employees' business cards have been changed to reflect the rebranding of the county's top lawman. The move comes as Mason unveils a new computer system, which he's advertising as a way to speed up justice and share information with defense attorneys. In actuality, it's an unproven program designed by his friend, which essentially puts all data related to a case on computers. The servers that store this data should be located on neutral territory, says the clerk of courts office, but no one outside Mason's circle seems to know where they are.

SORE LOSER

Speaking of the prosecutor's office, remember the women who were charged with "rigging" the 2004 Presidential recount in Cuyahoga County? Their first trial was prejudiced by Mason puppet Judge Peter Corrigan, whose massaged jury pool found two of the women guilty. The Ohio Supreme Court kicked Corrigan off the case, though, and the new Cuyahoga County judge ordered another trial. When it appeared the women might win the next round, special prosecutor (and Mason campaign donor) Kevin Baxter cut a deal which allowed Kathy Dreamer, one of the women charged, to avoid any kind of conviction. Part of the deal from the beginning was that, if Dreamer was not convicted, her hefty legal bill would be paid for. Now, the Board of Elections is trying to run out on the bill. As of last month, Dreamer's lawyer, Roger Synenberg, had yet to be paid. Good thing Synenberg's not like the some of the guys who contribute to these peoples' campaigns - knee caps would have been busted by now.

MCFAUL FROM GRACE

The Plain Dealer's constant pickle-shooting of Sheriff Gerald McFaul's foibles - making his son a special deputy, giving raises to family members, holding clambakes in Cleveland (are you crazy, dude? This is walleye territory!) - left McFaul with no choice but to visit the newspaper's office last week (ostensibly to complain about the coverage, secretly, perhaps, to scope out rental prices on unused office space for his art-studio dream project). During the meeting, McFaul allegedly called one of their reporters a "Puerto Rican" when, in fact, he is Mexican.

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