Last week, we told you about an apparent pay-to-play donation that Ed Fitzgerald accepted from one of his appointees within a week of the appointment.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald collected a $1,000 political contribution from an investment banker one week after nominating him to serve on a board that reviews requests for economic development loans, records show.
Fitzgerald kept the money for months, and is only now returning the donation, after it was initially reported by the Plain Dealer.
Fitzgerald certainly violated his own promised ethics policy, but did he break the law?
Common Cause Ohio, a liberal government watchdog group says yes. Here’s what Catherine Turcer from the group said.
“Do I believe Ed FitzGerald broke the law (in Cuyahoga County)? Yes,” Turcer said.
Coming from a liberal organization, and not a Republican, that’s an amazing statement.
Of course, Fitzgerald is trying to deflect blame and point his finger at Governor Kasich, saying that he also receives donations from people he has appointed. But there is a huge difference. It’s legal under state law and common across multiple administrations, Democrat and Republican. Former Governor Ted Strickland received a lot of donations from his appointees as well.
The real story here is that this isn’t just some county administrator somewhere in Ohio. This is Cuyahoga County, known for years to be the most corrupt in Ohio. Several former Cuyahoga County officials are sitting in prison for corruption. It was so bad that voters scrapped the entire way that the county government works in an effort to start all over again, (a reform that Ed Fitzgerald opposed.)
And ever since he was elected as the first County Executive, Ed has been telling everyone who will listen how he’s cleaned up the mess.
But he hasn’t. We’ve shown you multiple times that he’s just another corrupt Cuyahoga County politician. They set strict standards for themselves and when they get caught going back to their old ways, instead of owning up to it, they point the finger at others and saying “Well, THEY get to do it!”
In similar fashion to Barack Obama, Ed Fitzgerald is desperately trying to shift the blame. And just like with Obama, it’s getting pretty tiresome to watch.