Attorney calls Judge Stokes' resignation a 'tragedy'

Attorney calls Judge Stokes' resignation a 'tragedy'
Stokes' attorney Larry Zukerman calls her resignation a 'tragedy' (Source: WOIO)
Stokes' attorney Larry Zukerman calls her resignation a 'tragedy' (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Larry Zukerman, attorney for former Cuyahoga County Municipal Court Judge Angela Stokes, is unapologetic about the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has billed the city of Cleveland in an effort to help Stokes keep her law license.

Stokes was facing disciplinary charges for her courtroom behavior.

After months of negotiation, an agreement was reached between Stokes and the state.

As part of the agreement, the state dismissed some counts against Stokes in return for her stepping down.

Zukerman believes the city's investigation that led to the filing of charges was flawed.

The city of Cleveland insists that the bills are subject to attorney-client privilege and provided heavily redacted copies to Cleveland 19 News.

There is no way for a taxpayer to see what legal work was done, only what it cost.

"This is none of your business," Zukerman said to Cleveland 19's Paul Orlousky. "It's none of your business what I do for any client."

Zukerman insists that he actually saved the city money by negotiating a settlement.

He estimates the case and appeals could have dragged on for four or five more years, costing millions more.

With Angela Stokes' resignation, there isn't a Stokes in elected office for the first time since 1962.

It is a sad end to a storied political dynasty built by Carl and Louis Stokes.

"I didn't say this was a victory. I think it's been tragedy. I think it's been a tragedy for Judge Stokes," Zukerman said.

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