Editor’s note: This press release was issued on 8/10/2010 by the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. Last year, the voters of Cuyahoga County voted to change the structure of county government. In most other Ohio counties, the county auditor and one county commissioner are the only non-judicial county election races on the ballot this year. Cuyahoga County is electing a County Executive and members of a County Council. There is hope that the new government structure in Cuyahoga County will be an aid to battling the corruption of those occupying county offices. Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo are the most infamous of the county officials spotlighted by corruption investigations, yet they’re still in office, still pulling strings, still thumbing their noses at the public, and, apparently, intending to continue doing so right up until the new County Council and County Executive are sworn into office next January. That amounts to several more months of potential mischief afforded to Dimora and Russo. The RPCC is thus issuing the invitation (or is it issuing a challenge?) to their Democrat Party counterparts to join in leveraging whatever influence they can muster to obtain the immediate resignations of Dimora and Russo.
Its Time For A Transition Government
Voters from every Cuyahoga community, incensed with corruption and disgusted by the continued reporting of back room bargaining, bribes and patronage laden offices, overwhelmingly passed Issue 6 last year, and in doing so laid the groundwork for true government reform in Cuyahoga County. It is now time for the leaders from all political parties to demonstrate a commitment to work together in this process of transition to a new government, and there can be no better steps than by coming together to call on those who have abused the public trust to immediately resign their office and for the formation of a transition government.
Said RPCC Chairman Rob Frost “I am asking that Ed Fitzgerald, the endorsed Democratic candidate for County Executive, along with his Primary opponent Terri Hamilton Brown, to join me and Democratic Party Chair Stuart Garson along with County Treasurer Jim Rokakis and Matt Dolan, the Republican endorsed candidate for County Executive, in calling for the immediate resignations of Frank Russo and Jimmy Dimora.”
Under Ohio law, there is no provision to recall county officials and were Dimora or Russo to resign, the Central Committee of the political party which nominated them, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, would have the power to name their replacements. Frost further called upon Chairman Garson to commit that he will lead the Democratic Party, when and if Dimora or Russo resign, in appointing someone not running for the new County Executive or Council positions. “This can be an opportunity for the community to come together and rise above partisan politics to form a transition government with qualified, experienced individuals as interim office-holders.”
This county has already witnessed the upside of replacement appointments, with the stellar service of interim Sheriff Frank Bova and the continuing distinguished service of Sheriff Bob Reid. Unfortunately, we have also seen the downside of political replacements, with County Recorder Lillian Greene apparently feeling entitled to the office to which she was appointed and was subsequently retained. “It is crucial that we get this transition right – we cannot afford any more missed chances or lost time,” stated Frost, “It is only by joining together to notify Russo and Dimora that it is time to go, and then finding qualified, neutral replacements to serve until January, that we can begin to wipe the slate clean of the stain of corruption.”