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Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne names Joseph Griener sheriff to replace crooked Steven Hammett, who resigned and who stalked Black women and stole residents' homes via illegal foreclosures for JPMorgan Chase Bank, data show.

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Pictured are newly appointed Cuyahoga County Sheriff Joseph Greiner, and former county sheriff Steve Hammett, who is Black and abruptly resigned earlier this month amid calls for his resignation from community activists who say he is corrupt and that he stalks Black women
Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com
Staff article

CLEVELAND, Ohio-Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne has named a replacement sheriff for former interim sheriff Steven Hammett, the county's second Black sheriff who abruptly resigned earlier this month after being on the job hardly eight months and amid calls for his resignation from community activists who say he is corrupt and was an inept sheriff with a purported history of stalking Black women.

Chief Deputy Joseph Greiner, who was hired by the county in 2012 as a deputy and was later elevated to captain and chief deputy, was promoted to sheriff. He is the county's seventh sheriff in 10 years.

A Democrat who won election in November, Ronayne is the county's third county executive since voters changed the form of governance in the county through a 2009 charter amendment, including turning elected offices such as sheriff, clerk of courts and treasurer into appointed positions, all but the still-elected judges and county prosecutor. He works in cooperation with an elected 11 -member county council. The county includes Cleveland and is heavily Democratic and roughly 29 percent Black. Per the charter, the county sheriff is appointed per the recommendation of the county executive and subsequent approval by county council.

Ohio's second largest county behind Franklin county, which includes the capital city of Columbus, the state's largest city, Cuyahoga County is the only county of Ohio's 88 counties where the sheriff is not elected.

Activists say that Hammett should have never been appointed sheriff in the first place, given his public corruption background and his malfeasance as to his harassment of women, which is documented via court records and unsealed county grand jury testimony.

"Many victims under his tenure should be breathing a sigh of relief since he is gone as sheriff," said activist Alfred Porter Jr of Black on Black Crime Inc. after Hammett suddenly resigned and vacated the county sheriff's office as if he feared a possible county grand jury indictment on public corruption and other charges.

Hammett replaced interim sheriff Christopher Paul Viland and was sworn in as interim sheriff in May of last year by then county executive Armond Budish, who did not seek reelection to the post. His female victims say he harassed them as Black women homeowners, and allegedly for JPMorgan Chase Bank, all while he was police chief in University Hts, a middle to upper middle class Cleveland suburb that is largely White and heavily Jewish. Also at issue is a county jail that remains in disarray since more than a dozen inmate deaths in the past five years and a 2018 U.S. Marshals report that found the conditions in the jail and the treatment of inmates inhumane and unconstitutional.

When he was police chief in University Hts, research reveals that Hammett used White cops to stalk Black women homeowners and to break into the homes when they were going through illegal foreclosure proceedings with JP Morgan Chase Bank. And he use police under him to help steal their personal property for JPMorgan Chase Bank, including high-priced cars from their garages An investigation also reveals that those who complained or fought back in court were often maliciously prosecuted locally and erroneously indicted with the help of the county prosecutor's office, dirty cops, and corrupt judges, among others.

Hammett joined the sheriff’s department in September of 2021, four years after he was police chief under then University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld for about two years. She lost reelection in 2017 amid allegations of public corruption and assisted theft of residents homes for JPMorgan Chase Bank via illegal foreclosures. It was an upset election loss to current University Hts Mayor Michael Dylan, a Democrat like Infeld who brought in his own police chief when he assumed office. When Infeld lost as mayor Hammett was ousted along with her. He is a resident of Solon and has over 35 years of law enforcement experience. He began his career as a Cleveland Hts patrolman and has also served as a deputy chief  for Shaker Heights.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com the most read Black digital newspaper and blog in Ohio and in the Midwest Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.


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