Critics concerned after Cleveland mayor promotes city official whose office chose not to prosecute mayor’s grandson after alleged assault

Cleveland mayor promotes city official who chose not to prosecute mayor’s grandson

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland’s former Chief Assistant Prosecutor Karrie Howard was sworn in as the city’s new safety director Friday.

His promotion comes after Michael McGrath announced his retirement from the safety director position earlier this week.

Critics said they are concerned however, because Howard received the promotion after the office he was in charge of chose not to prosecute the Mayor’s grandson in an assault case.

Cleveland police said that on June 10, 2019, Jackson beat an 18-year-old woman with a trailer hitch, choked her and pulled her across a lawn by the hair on E. 49th Street.

According to the report, Jackson also punched the woman several times.

It was the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office who decided to indict Frank Q. Jackson after 19 News reported the alleged assault.

Howard was appointed to the chief assistant prosecutor roll in 2018.

On the city’s website, it says he was responsible for filing criminal felony offenses as well as charge and prosecute criminal misdemeanor and traffic offenses. In addition to prosecuting cases he managed the daily activities of the city prosecutor’s office and supervise the city’s assistant prosecutors.

Howard has experience in both the private and public sector. He served in a private practice as counsel at Thacker Robinson Zinz focusing on criminal and civil litigation.

In the public arena he was an assistant prosecutor for the city of Cleveland, assistant prosecuting attorney for Cuyahoga County, and Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

In these positions Howard successfully litigated numerous criminal matters ranging from misdemeanors to complex state and federal felony cases.

Howard is a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserves serving as an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate at the Youngstown Air Reserves Station advising military leadership and civilian personnel on ethical matters and in legal issues relating to taxes, contracts, land use and violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Howard earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He later earned a Juris Doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; and certificates in Leadership and Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC).

The mayor did not immediately respond for comments by email.

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