Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No more mirrors: My profile of Nailah Byrd, Cuyahoga County's new inspector general

Down at the Dimora trial in Akron, it's Day 3 of Cleveland's tawdry, FBI-filmed reality show, "Jimmy and Frank Do the Mirage."

But up in Cleveland, things have changed.

Frank Russo's giant wall-length mirror is gone from his old office. So are Russo's black lacquer credenza and leather couches and chairs. And in Russo's old office sits Nailah Byrd, Cuyahoga County's first inspector general, whose job is to bring sunlight and transparency to the government.

Byrd is the taxpayer’s watchdog at the county building, the enforcer of a new ethics ordinance and an independent investigator of alleged wrongdoing in the government. She's one of Cleveland Magazine's 30 Most Interesting People for 2012. And if you think she looks familiar -- yes, she's the daughter of former Cleveland schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

“When I first started, you hear the whispering as you walk down the hallway,” she told me. “Is she the inspector general? What is she going to do? Why is she here?”

You can read my profile of Byrd here and in the January issue of Cleveland Magazine.

No comments: