Monday, February 27, 2012

Roberts: Corruption should be main issue in prosecutor's race

Next week, for the first time in 56 years, Cuyahoga County voters will choose a new prosecutor.

Since John T. Corrigan won the job in 1956, there's always been an incumbent prosecutor on the ballot. Now, as the county corruption scandal nears its climax in federal court, longtime columnist Michael D. Roberts imagines Corrigan's statue near the Justice Center coming alive with wrath.

"Corrigan would have been enraged at what has passed for government here since his retirement in 1991," Roberts writes in the March issue of Cleveland Magazine. "Chances are, with Corrigan in office, corruption never would have become the epidemic it did."

Roberts argues that corruption should be the major issue in the prosecutors' race. He thinks voters in the March 6 Democratic primary should seize the opportunity to demand a prosecutor who will fight political corruption as aggressively as Corrigan did.

Looking at the Dimora-Russo scandal and the Nate Gray case before it, Roberts argues that Corrigan's successors, Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Bill Mason, neglected their duty to deter wrongdoing by public officials. He sizes up the four most experienced candidates to replace Mason -- James McDonnell, Tim McGinty, Subodh Chandra and Bob Triozzi -- and finds some more eager than others to make political corruption a main target.

Roberts' column, "Office Politics," is essential reading before going to the polls. It's in the March issue of Cleveland Magazine, out now.

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