Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

CLASH Lawyers Up, Demands that City Accept Lead Safe Petitions

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2019 at 9:48 AM

click to enlarge Former Councilman Jeff Johnson at a CLASH press conference. - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Former Councilman Jeff Johnson at a CLASH press conference.
In a letter filed yesterday, Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) demanded that Cleveland Law Director Barbara Langhenry compel city council clerk Patricia Britt to accept the 6,350 signatures that CLASH submitted last month with the hopes of putting a lead-safe ordinance on the November ballot.

Those signatures were rejected by council because the petitions failed to include an all-caps disclaimer about election falsification required by the Ohio Revised Code.

CLASH has maintained, and reiterated in its letter to Langhenry, (attached below), that the City Charter, not the Ohio Revised Code, dictates the local government response. It has cited numerous legal precedents, including the Ohio Supreme Court's decision in the Q Deal referendum dispute, to argue that Britt must accept the petitions, regardless of their form or substance. 



"If there had ever been any doubt," the letter states, "the Supreme Court's decision in [the Q Deal case] makes clear that the Clerk must accept the petitions and perform her duties in determining the sufficiency of the signatures."

The letter was signed by attorneys Marc Dann and Donna Taylor-Kolis, from the Dann Law Firm, whom CLASH has retained as legal counsel.

"Our hope is that the Council Clerk and Law Director will do the right thing so that we can avoid the time and expense of seeking a Writ of Mandamus," said Dann, in a statement provided to the press.

CLASH said that if Langhenry refuses to compel Britt to accept the signatures and refuses to file a Mandamus action in court to force her hand, then CLASH would do so itself, a procedure that it says is allowed under state and local laws.

Just like in the Q Deal case, CLASH has officially requested that they be named defendants in any Mandamus action against Britt so that they can present material to the court. 

This legal action runs parallel to the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition (LSCC) effort. Monday, that public-private group presented 33 recommendations to City Council to help local lawmakers craft their own ordinance. These recommendations hew closely to CLASH's proposal but fail to include a few key provisions, including a requirement that Day Care Centers be subject to a lead-safe mandate. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

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) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation