Michael Cosgrove Is on Paid Leave at Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland

Frank Jackson welcomes Michael Cosgrove as Community Development director in 2017. - CleCityHall.com
Frank Jackson welcomes Michael Cosgrove as Community Development director in 2017.

Cleveland's former community development director Michael Cosgrove, who was arrested late last month on felony charges, remains on paid leave at Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, where he had been executive director since late last year.

Cosgrove, who authorities say drove to Parma Heights with the intent to have sex with a 15-year-old on Nov. 26, has been removed from the NHS website. Gretchen Bowman, a client attorney at NHS since 2009, has been named acting director of the organization that provides education and support for the region's home buyers. 

But Gerry Chattman, a lead attorney at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, which has been retained by NHS and is handling all press inquiries related to the Cosgrove incident, told Scene that Cosgrove has not been fired. He'll be on paid leave until there's a clearer picture of what actually happened, he said.

"In this country, someone is innocent until there's a pronouncement of guilt," Chattman said. "The board is trying to act responsibly." 

Cosgrove had served as Cleveland's director of community development for much of 2017. He was officially appointed to the role after the death of former director Daryl Rush, though he'd been managing the department during the later stages of Rush's battle with cancer, and he left the city for NHS in December of last year.

On Monday, Nov. 26, Cosgrove drove to Parma Heights after having exchanged messages on social media with an undercover agent whom he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Investigators with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department arrested him when he arrived at the location they'd agreed to meet for sex.