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Former auditor Frank Russo was scheming from nearly first day on job, according to federal charges
the Cleveland Plain Dealer ^ | 09/12/2010 | Robert L. Smith

Posted on 09/12/2010 8:34:42 AM PDT by EBH

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The expose came not in a rush but in slow, infuriating revelations. For more than two years, Cuyahoga County residents absorbed reports of cronyism and corruption on a scale no one imagined possible.

A community that paid little attention to the mundane chores of county government learned of cash bribes, a sham election, gambling junkets to Las Vegas and Canada, sketchy tax assessments and outright thievery.

On Thursday, we learned that the sordid charade is finally nearing its end. That long, loud scrape echoing across Ohio's largest county was a political machine grinding to a halt.

The resignation of County Auditor Frank Russo, after being presented with a shameful list of federal crimes, marks the most dramatic twist so far in a political corruption investigation of epic sweep.

More revelations await. The charges implicate county judges. Federal prosecutors are known to have their sights set on Russo's fellow political kingmaker, County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, aka Public Official 1, who denies allegations of wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime. 51 1 12Share

But Russo's role in enabling a county for sale cannot be understated.

For more than a decade, he served as one of the county's top executives, a hiring manager who controlled more than 200 full-time jobs and influenced appointments to powerful oversight boards. Most critically, he influenced tax valuations on every block in every school district in the county.

"That is a huge function," said David Abbott, executive director of the George Gund Foundation and a one-time Cuyahoga County administrator. "That affects pretty much everyone. If that is not an honest and fair process, that strikes at the very heart of our democracy."

According to the federal charges, Russo was crooked from about Day One.

(Excerpt) Read more at cleveland.com ...


TOPICS: Canada; Government; US: Nevada; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: alternativesagency; anthonyocalabrese; brianschuman; broma; canada; chicago; cleveland; cuyahogacounty; danielgallagher; deandepiero; frankcalabrese; frankrusso; guesswhichparty; illinois; jimmydimora; jkevinkelley; kevinpayne; lasvegas; naturestone; nevada; northcarolina; ohio; parma; samirmohammad; tedstrickland; windsor
Note, please note the phrase

"sham election"

All those troubles with election machines etc. for years here in my county...and finally they admit "sham elections." This is the largest democrat county in the state. It swings Ohio...

All that craziness in 2008...it stunk to high heaven. And now they mention "sham elections" as a passing phase...

1 posted on 09/12/2010 8:34:43 AM PDT by EBH
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To: Las Vegas Dave

They tampered with elections!

Ping!


2 posted on 09/12/2010 8:36:09 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

Cleveland situation different from other cities

“I don’t think this could have happened in any other city except here,” Roberts said, adding that corruption is different in cities like Boston and Chicago.

“People get things done there,” he said, “so people have pride in their city.”

Roberts said the culture of corruption here is so deep, and at times so petty, Clevelanders have grown disillusioned.

“The thievery, the double-dipping, it became an industry,” he said.

“It’s not going to be easy to get rid of that.”


3 posted on 09/12/2010 8:37:28 AM PDT by EBH (Our First Right...."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,")
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To: EBH

I think Cleveland has been doing stuff like this for a lot longer than 2008. How else do you explain the election and re-election of such shining lights as Dennis Kucinich and the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones?


4 posted on 09/12/2010 8:40:07 AM PDT by ssaftler (Californians: Yes on 20, No on 27. No more Jerry-mandering! (Or Jerry-browning either!))
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To: EBH

All were Democrats....gee go figure. What filthy rotten smelly pigs they all are and that is being disrespectful to filthy rotten smelly pigs.

I hope everyone from the guy who turned a deaf ear or eye on illegal dealings right on up to Russo go to jail....that right there will eliminate about 33% of the Dem voters in Cuyahoga County.


5 posted on 09/12/2010 8:40:40 AM PDT by oust the louse (When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.)
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To: EBH

Guess the party!
The article is very long yet never mentions the party involved.


6 posted on 09/12/2010 8:42:46 AM PDT by griswold3 ('Regulation and law without enforcement is no law at all)
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To: EBH
Re. tax valuations

"That is a huge function," said David Abbott, executive director of the George Gund Foundation and a one-time Cuyahoga County administrator. "That affects pretty much everyone. If that is not an honest and fair process, that strikes at the very heart of our democracy."

No Mr. Abbott, you are wrong! What "...strikes at the very heart of our democracy" is the corruption of the electoral process...not only in your county, but across this nation.

7 posted on 09/12/2010 8:44:44 AM PDT by Roccus (......and then there were none.)
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To: EBH
This criminal prick will end up serving time in some ritzy country club prison. Big whoop!

Here's an idea - MANDATORY, with no bargains - He gets no pension, no chance for parole, and he has to spend the rest of his life paying back the funds he stole by doing minial services! Garbage collection, scrubbing bathrooms, sewage holes, and clean up in the worst parts of the city. Every day for the rest of his life!

8 posted on 09/12/2010 8:45:00 AM PDT by sirchtruth (Freedom is not free)
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To: EBH
“I don’t think this could have happened in any other city except here,” Roberts said, adding that corruption is different in cities like Boston and Chicago.

Yes, most other Democrat-controlled parasite nests ("cities") are more sophisticated in their corruption. What's different about Cleveland is that somebody is taking a fall. (yawn)

9 posted on 09/12/2010 8:48:12 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: EBH

And the difference between this democr...er...sleezebag (synonyms), Chicago, and the White (er sluege) House is??


10 posted on 09/12/2010 9:01:43 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: EBH

This guy put his picture on a sticker and made all cash registers in the county (and other weights and measures devices) display his picture. He put a huge picture of himself right outside of his office, after being elected. Neither of those things had ever been done.

Has a couple of dozen charges against him, he denied them for years. The Cleveland Plain Dealer (CPD) wouldn’t even mention him or his associates by name for YEARS.

He is an open homosexual, extremely corrupt (took more than 1million in bribes, rigged elections, people turning up missing around him.. i.e. dead, attorney he was involved with).

FINALLY in mid 2008, FBI raided his house and office at same time, and put together a case. Filed with the court this past week, and at the same time, he FINALLY resigned. He’s nothing more than a POS, along with Dimora (county commissioner, who’s just as bad, but says he’s innocent). They are all democrats.


11 posted on 09/12/2010 9:06:19 AM PDT by ph12321 (We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Da Coyote

The only difference is the FBI took this guy down, but won’t touch Chicago... yet.


12 posted on 09/12/2010 9:07:09 AM PDT by ph12321 (We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: oust the louse

not one word of which party they belonged to in the article that I can see......figures....


13 posted on 09/12/2010 9:16:23 AM PDT by cherry
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To: EBH; abb; weegee
A community INCLUDING THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER that paid little attention to the mundane chores of county government

There. Fixed.

Even now they have difficulty naming the party affiliation of these crooks.

14 posted on 09/12/2010 9:28:42 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: oust the louse

“All were Democrats....gee go figure”

Long-time Democrat cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Gary, St. Louis, etc. are corrupt on levels approaching Third-World cities like in Chad or Nigeria.

And the fact that the residents keep electing the same corrupt pols over and over again enables it. The ginned-up racial hate of Republicans replaces common sense.

And don’t let anyone kid you. It’s ALL about race for many of these folks.


15 posted on 09/12/2010 9:30:20 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Obama White House=Tammany Hall on the National Mall)
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To: EBH

Let’s do Chicago next. Would the feds have the integrity and courage to do that?


16 posted on 09/12/2010 9:30:36 AM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: EBH
It should take less people to get things done

Journalists should make an effort to learn how to use the English language. It is their trade.

It should take fewer people to get things done

Fewer people is the correct usage unless the writer is comparing the quantity of people by volume or by mass i.e. "less weight."

Less humanity, perhaps, but fewer people.

17 posted on 09/12/2010 9:35:00 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: EBH
The article says "sham election" not "sham elections" and it does not refer to election fraud. It refers to an election in which the GOP nominee resigned from the race less than a month before the election, allowing the Democrat to run unopposed. The GOP nominee was then give a cushy county job after the election as a reward.

By the way, the article not only does not mention that Russo is a Democrat, it also fails to mention that Russo's "housemate" (i.e. live-in lover) Michael Calabrese is implicated in these crimes as well.

18 posted on 09/12/2010 9:37:13 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: EBH

You do realize, of course, that when the C.S.I. or Law & Order episode comes out about this, the “Evil-doers” will be portrayed as REPUBLICANS, right?


19 posted on 09/12/2010 9:42:10 AM PDT by tcrlaf (Obama White House=Tammany Hall on the National Mall)
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To: EBH
Frank Russo was scheming from nearly first day on job

That's total BS. He was scheming LONG before the first day on the job. That's why he wanted the job since he knew he could get away with just about anything. Well, at least he was right for a while.

20 posted on 09/12/2010 10:28:44 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (The Obama magic is <strike>fading</strike>gone.)
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To: tcrlaf; EBH

For a preview of total civil collapse as this disease spreads to the country as a whole, see Michael Lewis’ article on Greece:

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010?printable=true

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds
As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit. After systematically looting their own treasury, in a breathtaking binge of tax evasion, bribery, and creative accounting spurred on by Goldman Sachs, Greeks are sure of one thing: they can’t trust their fellow Greeks.

For a short-term pessimistic, longer-term semi-optimistic assessment of how we got here and what comes next, see:

The Guilty Ones Responsible for the Loss of our Liberties
http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/21402/

These institutions work only so long as the Constitution lives in our hearts. When it died there from slow starvation these institutions could only glide on until the natural action of powerful groups warped them to their service. Congress becomes an instrument for division of the spoils, ineffective otherwise. Our finest attorneys, whether at the Office of Legal Counsel or the Vokolh Conspiracy become apologists for the expansion of government power.

The responsibility for the Republic’s fall is ours. Where else could it rest? That this remains controversal shows our decay, our loss of will and strength. Just as the burden of self-government became too great for the people of Rome to bear, so has it become for us.

What next? The miracle of reform and regeneration always remain possible. Every generation offers a fresh start. But in case events develop in a way not to our advantage, we should start devising a plan B. What follows the death of the Constitution? How can we forge a third Republic (following the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution).


21 posted on 09/12/2010 10:38:56 AM PDT by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
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