Political activist Art McKoy says he distributed the infamous cross-dressing photos of East Cleveland mayor Eric Brewer this fall.
“I’m responsible for those photographs,” McKoy told me recently.
McKoy spoke to me during my reporting for my new article, "Who Wants to Be Mayor of East Cleveland?," a profile of mayor-elect Gary Norton in the December issue of Cleveland Magazine.
Brewer has tried to blame Norton for the photos getting out -- but McKoy says he, not Norton, was behind their appearance. He proudly told me he made "quite a few copies" of the Brewer photos and "showed everyone I could."
The photos, which appeared on East Cleveland's streets during the September mayoral campaign, caused an international scandal. After WKYC TV-3 broadcasted them on Sept. 23, they went viral on the Internet and became fuel for late-night talk show jokes. Brewer went on Inside Edition in October to confirm the photos were of him.
McKoy was arrested by East Cleveland police last Christmas Eve and is awaiting trial on a charge of permitting drug abuse at his former barbershop in the city. He maintains his innocence and says Brewer attacked his work in East Cleveland, from the barbershop to a street festival and memorial to crime victims.
For more, see "Photo Finished," the sidebar accompanying my Norton profile.
(If you'd like to link to my story, you can use this shortcut: tinyurl.com/CMNorton.)