Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More on the ACLU's Cuyahoga County Transition Lawsuit

Posted By on Tue, May 4, 2010 at 9:36 AM

aclu.jpg

The first legal challenge to Cuyahoga County’s transition to a charter government hit the docket last week when the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the architects of the transition. At issue is the leaders’ alleged failure to comply with Ohio’s open-records or “sunshine” laws.

The lawsuit shatters the county record for Fastest Allegation of Misconduct Against a Newly Created Government; the previous mark was set in 1809 for unlawful use of a county horse for private business.
The ACLU contends that the county has wrongly withheld documents about the formation and workings of the transition’s executive committee, an overseeing body made up of public officials and business executives. Scene wrote about the ACLU’s concerns in the April 14 story “Some Sunshine but Mostly Cloudy.”

Comments from the ACLU after the jump.

The group threatened to sue in February after transition leaders announced on a local radio program that not all of their work would take place in public — a claim that left some wondering how this arrangement represents a step away from the county’s time-honored tradition of commissioners whispering behind closed doors. Transition leaders responded with a pledge to keep the process open.

But the ACLU’s suit is a direct response to a March ruling made by Cuyahoga County’s chief civil lawyer, who decreed that the executive committee is not a public body subject to open-records law, and therefore is free to extend a middle finger to those hoping to learn what they’re up to.

“From the new charter’s inception, transition leaders have promised transparency to the public,” says Christine Link, the ACLU’s Ohio director. “Unfortunately, they continue to ignore the people’s demand for full access by maintaining that the law does not apply to them.”

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation