Lawyer says former judge candidate was set up

CLEVELAND – A former candidate for judge is off the hook in a controversial drunken driving case even though the city prosecutor said that he had a solid case against him.

It's a story that The Investigator, Tom Meyer, first broke.

The case is now closed, but the question remains: Was Mark Miller set up? His attorney said that he thinks it all comes down to dirty politics.

Patrolman Jim Simone was tipped off that a driver seen ahead of him on police video might be driving drunk. Miller, a Republican candidate for judge who ultimately failed in his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Nancy Russo, was the driver in question.

The tip came from Russo supporter Rick Summers, who attended Miller's fund-raiser to allegedly spy on Miller.

Miller's attorney, Pat Farrell, said that it was all part of a preconceived plan to bust his client.

"It's my belief that Mr. Simone went to that fund-raiser for the purposes of getting (Miller) caught for DUI," Farrell said.

Farrell said that there's no evidence that Miller was drunk or that he was weaving in and out of traffic. A judge agreed and made a ruling that led to the case being dismissed.

The prosecutor said that he felt he had a solid case against Miller.

Summers denied allegations that his phone calls to Simone regarding Miller were politically motivated.

"I didn't call on him. I called in a car," Summers said. "There was no way for me to know it was him in the car."

The judge in the case said that he felt Summers' testimony against Miller was less than credible.

Action News tried to contact Simone, but repeated phone calls to his office were not returned.