CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “The basic complaint here is that Chief Angelo Calvillo was actively campaigning, circulating petitions and getting signatures for Mayor Frank Jackson’s campaign,” is how Local 93 President Fran Lally summed up the union’s complaint.
It is a union that previously held the no confidence vote against Calvillo, which held no sway with Jackson. Now, Lally feels he has an issue with some teeth in it.
“The charter says that this is clearly a violation of the charter. It’s clearly a violation of the civil service rules. It’s a violation of the rule book of the Division of Fire,” Lally said.
Petitions that Calvillo circulated collected a total of 100 signatures on behalf of the Mayor. The Chief’s name and signature are attached as is Jackson’s. Under prohibited activities, civil service rule 18.3 lists “Initialing or circulating a declaration of candidacy or petition for placement of a persons name on the ballot.”
The city has argued the rule only applies to nonpartisan elections, but attorney Joe Diemert -- who represents the firefighters -- says that loophole was litigated and closed years ago.
“We’re going to give them a week to review our research and come back to us and say they’re gonna do something about it,” Diemert said.
If the issue can’t be resolved the union vows to go to court.
Diemert says both civil and criminal charges could be pursued.
Meanwhile the union says there is a simple solution, according to Lally: “He needs to resign, and if he refuses to resign, he needs to be removed from office.”