CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Questions continue to swirl over whether Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson was involved in his grandson’s most recent criminal case.
Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley told 19 News on Friday that he had no current plans to investigate any city leaders for misconduct.
Mayor Jackson has repeatedly refused to answer questions about why the city prosecutor declined to file charges against his 22-year-old grandson, Frank Q. Jackson. According to a CMHA police report, Frank Q. Jackson’s girlfriend accused him of viciously beating her on June 10.
The Cleveland Law Department sent 19 News the following statement on Friday evening, after they were pressed on why no charges were filed at the city level in June:
“The City of Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office reviews numerous misdemeanor and felony offenses on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for charging decisions. The Assistant Prosecutors in the office take this responsibility seriously. Every charging decision is made based on the facts and evidence presented to an Assistant Prosecutor by a presenting law enforcement official. The City Prosecutor’s Office does not receive, and has not received, any influence or interference by anyone in the Mayor’s Office on this or any other case. The Law Director is responsible for this office, but does not interfere with charging decisions, and did not do so in this case. The Law Department and the citizens of Cleveland rely on the experience and knowledge of its prosecuting attorneys to weigh and consider the evidence presented when making charging decisions. Assistant Prosecutors, like Aric Kinast who is a fine and upstanding professional who has served the citizens of Cleveland for 19 years, take their jobs very seriously. It is now clear that the matter at issue in the media was presented by a CMHA detective who failed to provide ALL the evidence related to this matter. When facts and evidence are withheld, such as the video released yesterday, an educated and informed decision cannot be made. Being a prosecutor is tough and is made tougher when facts and evidence are withheld or not properly presented. The City Prosecutor’s Office will continue honorably serving the citizens of Cleveland.”
-Karrie D. Howard, Criminal Division Chief, City of Cleveland Law Department
19 News reached out to CMHA Police Chief Andrés González for comment on Friday evening. He said he was not made aware of Howard’s comments, but that he plans on reviewing his statement.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors did file multiple criminal charges against Frank Q. Jackson this week in connection with the June assault case. The mayor’s grandson was arrested and booked into jail on charges of felonious assault, abduction, and failure to comply with officers.
“While I respect the mayor’s privacy, he is mayor and he sort of lose a certain amount of that being in such a public role," said one Cleveland resident.
“It’s his grandson. My grandson, I stand up for. What do you do? He’s in a no-win situation,” said another Cleveland resident.
City council has the opportunity to invoke a section of the city charter that would allow the mayor and city prosecutor to be investigated.
“We need the other branch of government to step in and do their role in overseeing what’s happening in city hall,” explained lawyer Rebecca Maurer.
19 News reached out to every single city of Cleveland council member. Most didn’t respond. Others said no comment. A few said they didn’t have enough information about the case that’s been widely publicized these last few days.
Kelley stated he has no current plans to investigate the mayor. He said he is “confident the mayor didn’t intervene in this case.” He stated that the criminal case is in the hands of the county.
“The charter’s really clear. The council can do this, it has the power to do this. just, does it have the will?” Maurer asked.