Pictured are Tonya R. Jones, a juvenile court magistrate and Democratic candidate for Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court (wearing white necklace), C. Ellen Conally, a retired Cleveland Municipal Court judge and former president of Cuyahoga County Council, and Cool Cleveland Correspondent Mansfield Frazier. Vote Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Tonya R. Jones, a juvenile court magistrate and Cleveland Democrat whom Frazier and Connally endorse in the March 15 Democratic primary for Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations judge, has a host of endorsements. Vote Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Currently there are no Blacks on the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, though the county, Ohio's largest of 88 counties statewide, and one of which includes the majority Black city of Cleveland, is roughly 29 percent Black.
The below article is by Mansfield Frazier of Cool Cleveland.Com CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT COOL CLEVELAND.COM
COOL CLEVELAND.COM ARTICLE BY MANSFIELD FRAZIER-CLEVELAND, Ohio-When candidates run for municipal court, they often say that’s the most important court in the land because it’s the court where most people see justice at work — traffic tickets and housing matters — a court where the average citizens comes in contact with the judicial process.
But in a society where the divorce rate hovers around 50 percent, domestic relations court — which deals with divorces, child custody and child support — is perhaps more important. Lots of people end up there. And when you do, whether husband or wife, you want a judge who will fairly and impartially look at your situation and give an honest and fair ruling on who gets the kids, how much a parent pays for child support and who gets the divorce.
This year’s Democratic primary for an open seat on the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court is an important race — even though the Cleveland Plain Dealer decided to skip endorsing in the race. The race pits Tonya R. Jones, a juvenile court magistrate, against Michael J. O’Shea.
Apparently candidate O’Shea forgot to read (or chose to ignore) the canons of ethics for judicial candidates when framing his campaign literature. Judges cannot make endorsement in any races. However, on a mailer sent by his campaign committee — which obviously was approved by the candidate — O’Shea uses the photos of the five sitting female jurists on the domestic relations bench without their permission, attempting to create the impression they all have endorsed him — when, in fact, none of them did, because they can’t — it’s against the rules.
One subliminal message of the piece — which maybe he thought would be picked up by male voters is — “Hey fellows, it’s all women on that court — what about a man for a change?”
Although the domestic relations court is now populated by all female judges, it’s interesting to note that the court has not had a black judge since the late Judge Perry B. Jackson moved up to the general division of the common pleas court in the ’60s. So O’Shea’s piece of literature further infers that a vote for him will keep it that way, since his opponent happens to be a black female. But his dirty tricks have not gone unnoticed.
The apparent abuse of the canons of ethics for candidates caused a letter of complaint to be sent by Administrative Judge Rosemary Grdina Gold to the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor, and to Phillip C. Richter, the executive director of the Ohio Elections Commission. (See letter below)
Apparently overlooking rules is not new to O’Shea. While serving as prosecutor and assistant law director in Rocky River, O’Shea was a member of the private Cleveland Yacht Club — a bastion of white society not particularly known for diversity — while at the same time he owed both the state and the IRS tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes. According to a story on WKYC in 2013, O’Shea said he paid the yacht club $300 a month in dues, plus an annual docking fee of $900 — which obviously was more important to him than his tax liability. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT COOL CLEVELAND.COM