Suburban mayor critical of complaining judge

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio – Just days after Action News first reported the story of neighbors saying they feel harassed by a prominent local judge who has filed dozens of complaints against them, the mayor of North Royalton voiced her opinions.

Tom Meyer, The Investigator, said that despite the time and effort put into following up on the judge's many complaints, Mayor Cathy Luks used the word "petty" to describe the complaints made by neighbors in the Action News investigation. She was also critical of the judge, however.

Some neighbors who live near state Court of Appeals Judge Frank Celebrezze Jr. fear his power and don't like to criticize him. Jerome Robertson, however, has been the exception.

Robertson spoke for a number of people in his neighborhood when he said he feels that the judge has harassed homeowners by calling police about everything from barking dogs to a child swearing at him.

"It's a waste of taxpayers' money, him calling police out on stuff like this," Robertson said.

Celebrezze (pictured, above) has complained so often that the mayor said even she had to get involved. She began screening his complaints.

"I do feel we spent more time on them than we should have, and our resources are tight to begin with," Luks said.

Luks said that City Hall has tried without success to mediate disputes between Celebrezze and his neighbors. She said that his complaints reached a level so extreme that she personally decided if city building inspectors should respond.

The judge's neighbors, including Robertson, have never been charged with a criminal violation as a result of the judge's complaints.

"It's childish," Robertson said. "When will he grow up?"

Celebrezze turned down several Action News requests to be interviewed on or off camera and said that he would try to answer questions only if Action News first put them in writing. That offer was declined.