Photo courtesy of Cleveland City Council
Cuyahoga County Probate Court Judge Anthony Russo has appointed Marion Anita Gardner to serve the brief remainder of Ward 4 Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson's term.
Johnson was arrested on federal corruption charges in February and was suspended from his seat by a panel of retired justices appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Gardner, according to Russo, will not be running for a full four-year term this fall. In a statement, Russo said that he determined an applicant who did not intend to run for the seat would be preferable.
Eighteen candidates applied to replace Johnson in an interim capacity. Roughly half of them also pulled petitions to run for the seat this fall. Russo conducted interviews with the candidates over the past few weeks.
"Ms. Gardner stood out during the interview process for her advocacy and dedication to the residents of Ward 4," Russo wrote. "Specifically, Ms. Gardner is the Chief Executive Officer of Concerned Citizens Community Council
and has worked tirelessly to address the issues of housing, childcare, transportation, job training, health care, and more for the residents of Ward 4. She has been a vocal advocate for the community and will continue to use her knowledge and experience to best serve the residents as the interim Councilperson."
Gardner won't be serving for long. The primary elections — in which Ken Johnson has pulled petitions to reclaim his seat — are in September. Gardner's interim term will run until Dec. 31, 2021.
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