Willoughby Hills council alleges financial crimes, elder abuse by mayor’s administration

The Willoughby Hills City Council is asking the state of Ohio to investigate alleged actions from Mayor Robert Weger’s administration and the Willoughby Hills Isolated Senior Program for Everyday Relief, or “WHISPER.”

Willoughby Hills council alleges financial crimes, elder abuse by mayor’s administration
City of Willoughby Hills (Source: WOIO) (Dakota, Michael)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Willoughby Hills City Council is asking the state of Ohio to investigate alleged actions from Mayor Robert Weger’s administration and the Willoughby Hills Isolated Senior Program for Everyday Relief, or “WHISPER.”

Enough suspicion is raised that further investigation should be undertaken by professional investigators . . . From the information provided, I would recommend at a minimum that you ask the State Auditor’s Office to investigate the City of Willoughby Hills Whisper Account and the expenditures and use of the Grange Building.  I would ask the Department of Job and Family Services and B.C.I. to investigate the potential elder abuse and/or ‘undue influence’. . .
Lake County Prosecutor Charles Coulson

The council voted to suspend “WHISPER” on Feb. 8 pending an investigation, according to a press release from the city council. Mayor Weger then attempted to remove six of the seven council members on Oct. 3, citing his disagreement with their votes to suspend the program.

The only council member that the mayor tried not to remove was Chris Hallum, who voted “No” on suspending “WHISPER.”

According to the city council:

  • The Mayor’s Administrative Assistant, Gloria Majeski, and Councilman Chris Hallum among others affiliated with the City of Willoughby Hills appear to have personally profited from their involvement in WHISPER.
  • Gloria Majeski appears to have had a history of profiting from her relationship with isolated seniors before establishing the program.
  • Gloria Majeski, in founding the program and becoming sole administrator of it, gave herself unfettered access to a highly vulnerable population, including multiple seniors’ bank accounts.
  • Gloria Majeski appears to have facilitated a WHISPER participant’s divorce using attorneys affiliated with the City and then became the man’s legal guardian.
  • Chris Hallum appears to have a history of acting as a real estate agent for sale of property through WHISPER or other matters in which the City is involved.
  • Weger’s actions appear to be retaliatory, motivated by his desire to shield WHISPER from scrutiny, and to retaliate against the Council Members who questioned this program and threatened to uncover these apparent abuses of power.

The results of the council’s investigation have been referred to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio State Auditor’s Office, Lake County Job & Family Services, and Willoughby Hills Police Chief Chris Collins for further investigation.

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