Rash of Cleveland Justice Center deaths has county councilman pushing for return of sheriffs' elections

Dan Brady is planning to put it on November 2019 ballot

Rash of Cleveland Justice Center deaths has county councilman pushing for return of sheriffs' elections
(Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Facebook page)

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - You could see a measure on your ballot next November that would let you vote for another elected office--sheriff.

Rash of Cleveland Justice Center deaths has county councilman pushing for sheriffs' election

The push comes from Cuyahoga County Council President Dan Brady, who says he wants to see the county voters go back to electing the sheriff.

"It could be we made a mistake eight years ago in consolidating the sheriff's office into the rest of the county government under the executive," said Brady. "The evidence seems to point to that."

The evidence he's talking about concerns the jail, which has seen seven inmate deaths in four months.

The idea of electing a sheriff is not new. Cuyahoga County voters chose a sheriff for 200 years. Gerald McFaul, the last sheriff elected to the position, served nine four-year terms before his 2009 resignation amid a corruption scandal. After that, the county completely redesigned its system of government, including revising the office of sheriff to an appointed position.

"We've had sheriffs. People are used to that. People understand what a sheriff is," said Brady. "I think that people will be given a chance to debate on this, and then they'll have a chance to debate on who that person should be. who's best qualified and who can convince them that they're the person who can straighten up the county jail and run it."

It’s far from a sure thing, though. A super majority of council members will have to give their approval, then the measure would appear on ballots in November 2019. If voters give it a thumbs up, you could be electing a sheriff by 2020.

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