Questionable endorsements on Brooklyn Schools levy website - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Questionable endorsements on Brooklyn Schools levy website

BROOKLYN, OH (WOIO) - The Brooklyn Support Our Schools Levy Committee says the Brooklyn City School district is facing a financial crisis.

The group of unnamed concerned residents and parents created a website asking voters to renew a current operating levy on the May 5 ballot.

If you click "endorsements" on the site, you get a list of past endorsements on an old levy.

That list includes names like the current Brooklyn mayor, three city council members, the Chamber of Commerce and the former Brooklyn School. Board president Jennifer O'Banion and her now ex-husband Chris O'Banion, the same Chris O'Banion who was convicted of being a sexual predator last year. 

O'Banion pleaded guilty in 2014 to meeting a 16-year-old girl online and pressuring her to have sex with him, and then stalked her. 
 
He was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He took his own life in October 2014 in the Cuyahoga County Jail.
 
19 Action News Investigative Reporter Scott Taylor had a difficult time getting someone affiliated with the website to speak on camera.

The site only lists an email address. It does not list names of committee members or phone numbers.

We finally tracked down Brooklyn School Board member Carl Ethridge, who never provided a committee member to talk on camera about the website.

Brooklyn Schools Superintendent Cynthia Walker made it clear that the district does not run or financially support the website.

Walker reached out to the web hosts and tells 19 Action News that Chris O'Banion's name will be removed and other issues concerning old pictures and past levy information will be deleted. 

Moments before our story aired, school board member Carl Ethridge sent Scott Taylor this email:

"Let me say thank you for pointing those out and bringing them to our attention. The reason is that aspect of the page has not been updated.  In regards to the picture, the signs are the currents signs we still utilize to get community awareness for the levy. Thank you again for pointing these things out to us. The Levy Committee is a community driven effort and at times with everyone's schedule certain things do get overlooked.  Wanted to let you know that the brooklynschoollevy.org website is updated.  Again thank you for pointing those concerns out."


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