Lorain’s Law Director Mark Provenza has done it again, and this time, it’s worse. He’s an alcoholic, and he’s endangering lives. Here’s the latest Provenza DUI story from the Plain Dealer. Here’s the report from Elyria’s Chronicle-Telegram. Here’s the editorial from Lorain’s Morning Journal calling for Provenza’s resignation (long overdue).
I’ve long been concerned with Democrat machine politics in the city of Lorain that props up politicians who are unsuitable to hold office. Though he’d already been charged with DUI’s in the past, Mark Provenza’s most recent re-election bid went unopposed in both the 2007 primary and the 2007 general elections. That’s because the perception among potential rivals is that it’s futile to oppose the Democrat political machine that props Provenza up.
Provenza has always given himself a bargaining chip for potential plea deals by refusing blood-alcohol tests after law enforcement officers catch up with him, denying law enforcement from gaining access to the most convincing evidence of Provenza’s intoxication (in 2000, he got a DUI charge in Parma Heights reduced to reckless operation). Enough of these cat-and-mouse games over Provenza’s drunken driving. This time, it wasn’t just a matter of weaving while traveling down the road, nor was it a matter of hitting a fire hydrant. This time Provenza crashed into a HOUSE!!!! So, not only does he not uphold the law, he’s downright dangerous.
As the city’s chief attorney, does Provenza’s repeated violations of the law make him unfit for office? Absolutely.
The voters, however, are hamstringed if they wish to replace the law director with a vote at the polls. In order for voters to change law directors on election day, there have to be other candidates listed on the ballot, and that was not the case in 2007. I don’t think Provenza should continue to serve out his term, but short of having a law license yanked (unlikely), about the only mechanism in place for removing Provenza from office is if Provenza, himself, resigns from it. That’s hardly encouraging. Just look at Detroit’s Kwame Kilpatrick, and how he continues to linger in the mayor’s office in that city. Provenza seems to have a similar mindset, as he hasn’t stepped down in the wake of prior DUI charges.
I think it’s time that the chair of the Democrat Party in the city of Lorain, Anthony Giardini, called for Provenza’s resignation. That would signal that the Democrat political machine no longer stands behind Provenza, which, in turn, would lead to a new candidate on the ballot in 2011 (such a long way off!), even if it turns out that there still isn’t a multi-candidate race. It’s time to twist Provenza’s arm while leaving him with no leg to stand on. Provenza’s got to go.