Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell
Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason
From the Metro Desk of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com(www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)
Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Magistrates Stephen Bucha and Tom Vozar have refused to further assist Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell with mortgage fraud activity in cases involving Chase Home Finance Mortgage Company, while Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office continues its mortgage fraud investigation around the matter.
O'Donnell had replaced Bucha, the chief magistrate, in some cases involving Chase Home Finance saying through his bailiff that impropriety was the reason. But Bucha actually refused to do mortgage fraud activity like O'Donnell wanted, who then replaced him with subordinate magistrate Vozar, who refused also, forcing O'Donnell to have to do his own dirty work.
Magistrates are manually assigned to foreclosure cases by the 34 judges of the general division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, which is led by Chief Judge Nancy Fuerst, but are under the supervision of the judges, who are ultimately responsible for the case outcomes and the actions of the magistrates, whether legal or illegal.
At issue is the activity by attorneys for Chase Mortgage Company, which is now a ghost company since it was sold to Chase Home Finance in 2005, using O'Donnell for illegal activity with the help of Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid.
O'Donnell and Reid would allow the attorneys for Chase Mortgage Company to sell foreclosed homes under its name rather than to require that the new mortgage company that owns the mortgage note, Chase Home Finance, file new foreclosure complaints and dismiss the old ones filed before Chase Mortgage Company was sold to Chase Home Finance, as required by law. And that case law as in the case of Wells Fargo vs. Jordan, a decision handed down by the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals in 2009 that discusses the issue in the body of it, denotes that a mortgage company must have a property interest and standing to foreclose on homeowners, and that when mortgage companies are sold the no longer existing mortgage companies like Chase Mortgage Company cannot sue. And judges like O'Donnell that are hungry to assist corrupt and rich mortgage companies to the detriment of the community no longer have jurisdiction to hear the foreclosure cases pending after the mortgage companies are sold and must dismiss them.
O'Donnell's illegal refusal to dismiss the lawsuits filed by the since sold mortgage companies so that the new mortgage companies can then sue is designed in part to illegally save money for the new mortgage company without a new suit and to preclude a counter suit by homeowners who have that option when the new mortgage company forecloses, unless the counterclaim is frivolous.
And then Reid, through his foreclosure appraisers, is reducing the foreclosed home values by some 80 percent for sale and allowing Chase Home Finance and politically connected people to buy homes for instance worth some $140,000, that the county auditor has appraised for property tax purposes for $125,000, for $36,000, with the former homeowners responsible for the difference. And this is done without the interior appraisal required by state law.
Homeowners are fighting back though, with complaints to the Cleveland FBI, the county mortgage fraud unit, which is under Mason's leadership, and Cuyahoga County Inspector General Nailah Byrd.
The law firms participating in O'Donnell's and Reid's mortgage fraud activities include Lerner, Sampson and Rothfuss and Bricker and Eckler, the firm that currently works to assess potential malfeasance by county employees.
Reid, who was appointed county sheriff by County Executive Ed Fitzgerald earlier this year to keep his $90 thousand-a-year job for now, must answer to him and the 11-member County Council.
Cuyahoga County Judge Steven Terry's fate is in the hands of a federal court jury that must determine his innocence or guilt relative to 5 counts of alleged fraudulent activity in office. Terry, who is out on paid administrative leave, is accused of fixing a case for homeowners in foreclosure that eventually lost their home for former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, who testified against the judge and is cooperating with the FBI to reduce a 22-year sentence after pleading guilty to numerous corruption related charges earlier this year.
Terry took the stand last week and denied the charges at his week-long trial in Federal District Court in Akron, Oh., with the case handed to the jury on Friday, though jurors went home for the weekend without a verdict.
Some community activists say that he is being targeted because he is Black, and one of only two Black males of the judges in the general division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, while White male judges with clout like O'Donnell and McGinty remain untouched and free from necessary law enforcement investigations.