Sunday, October 12, 2014

Judge John P. O'Donnell is accused of unethical behavior and prejudice in filing before the Ohio Supreme Court that seeks his disqualification from the 137 shots manslaughter case of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo, O'Donnell scheduled the trial for October 22 for publicity relative to his bid this November to unseat Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French and on the day of a police brutality rally by the revolutionary communist party, Brelo's lawyer says in the filing, O'Donnell is also under fire for the documented theft of homes via illegal foreclosures for JPMorgan Chase Bank, others, O'Donnell leads other judges in refusing to dismiss criminal cases for a lack of evidence when most of the defendants are Black, a Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper investigation reveals

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473).  Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years under five different editors at the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's most prominent Black print press. ( / (
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell
Cleveland Patrolman Michael Brelo

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell has been accused of unethical and prejudicial behavior by the attorney of criminally charged 137 shots Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo and could be barred by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor from hearing the high profile case.

Brelo is charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter for gunning down unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell with 49 bullets  following a high speed car chase on Nov. 29, 2012 that began in downtown Cleveland and ended in neighboring East Cleveland. Twelve other non-Black Cleveland police officers that together fired 88 of the 137 shots went free and were not charged after Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim  McGinty, who is White like O'Donnell, lobbied in their favor before the grand jury.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty
Brelo has pleaded not guilty.

If convicted on both counts, he faces six to 22 years in prison.

Brelo Attorney Patrick D'Angelo
"The filing speaks for itself and I have no further comment," Brelo attorney Patrick D'Angelo told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news.

"I do not want it to appear that we are seeking publicity around this," said D'Angelo relative to the 17-page affidavit of prejudice filed against O'Donnell.
Ohio Supreme Court
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor

D'Angelo filed the scathing affidavit of prejudice or disqualification on Monday, his first affidavit filed against a judge in his 37-year career. The affidavits are permitted under state law and they preclude O'Donnell and other common pleas judges subject to claims of bias or conflict through such filings from doing anything substantive in the case, essentially putting the case to a halt until after O'Connor rules.

O'Donnell has denied the allegations in a response filed in the Ohio Supre Court this week. 

O'Connor is the first female chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, an elected seat, and a very powerful policy- making position.
Ohio Supreme Court
Justice Judith French

A Democrat, O'Donnell is accused in the affidavit of setting the trial date in Brelo's case for Oct 22 to get publicity for his bid to unseat Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French on Nov 4, and to coincide with the national annual police brutality rally dubbed the October 22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality. 

That rally will be on Public Square and protesters will then march to the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland. But organizers of the rally, namely the revolutionary communist party, led by community activist Bill Swain, have said that only their chosen Blacks can speak at the rally and that they do not want any criticism of judges or the office of the county prosecutor.

Swain did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Whether O'Donnell is a communist is not known, though he allegedly consulted with members of the revolutionary communist party before he set the now infamous trial date.  

The affidavit also alleges that O'Donnell ignored other cases ready for trial with some of the defendants still in jail, most of them Black, just to put Brelo, who is out on bail, at the top of the line in a prejudicial fashion, and even though his attorneys requested an extension until January to adequately prepare for trial.

Prosecutor McGinty, an O'Donnell ally and a judge on the common pleas bench for 19 years before he resigned in 2011 to run the following year for county prosecutor, defended his friend O'Donnell and called the judge honorable, though data suggest otherwise in many aspects.

O'Donnell is also under fire for the documented theft of homes of residents of Cuyahoga County via illegal foreclosures, and for allegedly colluding with big banks and mortgage companies, including JPMorgan Chase Bank.   CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE OF JUDGE JOHN O'DONNELL'S CORRUPTION AND DOCUMENTED THEFT OF HOMES AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COMAnd he leads all but one of his 33 judicial colleagues in refusing to dismiss criminal cases for a lack of evidence, and the defendants at issue, data show, are disproportionately Black, and mainly poor. CLICK HERE TO READ THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER NEWSPAPER ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND.COM ON ITS INVESTIGATION OF JUDGES LIKE O'DONNELL AND CORRIGAN WHO REFUSE TO DISMISS CRIMINAL CASES FOR AN ALLEGED LACK OF EVIDENCE WHEN MOST OF THE DEFENDANTS ARE BLACK AND WHEN OTHERS JUDGES SEE FIT TO DISMISS CASES OF A SIMILAR NATURE

Affidavits of prejudice to seek removal of a common pleas judge under Ohio Revised Code 2701.03 must be filed in the Ohio Supreme Court at least seven days before the next proceeding before the judge at issue and are heard by the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. 

To seek the involuntary removal of a municipal court judge in Ohio, which is brought pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2701.031, the affidavit of prejudice or disqualification must be filed in the municipal court at issue and is determined by the chief or presiding judge of the common pleas court in that county, which is Judge John Russo in Cuyahoga County. It too must be filed seven or more days prior to the next hearing.

Absent publicity, the affidavits against Ohio trial court judges are routinely denied, regardless of the merits, data show. There are conflicts between at least three state appellate courts on whether an appeal can be undertaken in the event of the denial of an affidavit to remove a municipal court judge, with the Ohio Eighth District Court of appeals saying no in one case against then Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Ann Keough, now on the eighth district court herself. In another appeal to the eighth district of a denial of an affidavit of prejudice, one also filed against Keough, a three-judge panel ruled that an appeal can be had after the case at issue is fully adjudicated, or completed at the trial court level. 
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