Saturday, August 15, 2015

Black Cuyahoga County Judge Lance Mason pleads guilty to felonious assault and domestic violence for beating his wife, there is no such thing as attempted felonious assault under Ohio law....Mason did not get the break that White former Bedford judge Harry Jacob got for pimping women, running a prostitution ring, and manipulating court records....Jacob was spared felony convictions per a bench trial before Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan.... By Cleveland Urban News.Com Editor Kathy Wray Coleman

Former Cuyahoga County Court of  Common Pleas judge Lance Mason,
and his estranged wife Aisha Mason
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. Email: Coleman is a 22-year political, legal and investigative journalist who trained for 17 years, and under five different editors, at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio

CLEVELAND, Ohio -Lance Mason, the only Black male judge of 34 judges on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas bench, who faced felony and other charges relative to a domestic dispute with his estranged wife in last year in Shaker Heights where he lives, pleaded guilty to one count of domestic violence and one count of felonious assault on Aug 13. (Editor's note: In spite of erroneous local mainstream media reports that Mason pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault,  there is no such thing as attempted assault under Ohio law, and Mason pleaded guilty to felonious assault).

Shaker Heights is a prominent Cleveland suburb and Cleveland is among some 59 municipalities, villages or townships of Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest of 88 counties statewide that is roughly 29 percent Black, and a Democratic stronghold. 

The other charges were dropped, including  two counts of kidnapping, two counts of felonious assault, and two counts of endangering children, by County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, a former common pleas judge himself, who served on the bench with Mason, a judge since 2008. 

Mason was suspended with pay pending the outcome of the case and will now lose his $121,600 annual salary.

A source, speaking under condition of anonymity, a former judge in fact, asked, "who was his lawyer ?"

Judge Lance Mason's seat is now up for grabs, mainly by operatives of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, who were awaiting an open seat, sources told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news. 

The plea deal, which reportedly includes jail time,  puts the former Black judge's political career to an end, and likely his law license and legal career since Ohio attorneys cannot practice law with a felony.

A Shaker Heights Democrat and former state senator, Mason faces between nine and 36 months in prison when he is sentenced before visiting judge Patricia Cosgrove on Sept 16. She was assigned to hear the case by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, and after  none of his fellow common pleas judges, two of them Black women, would not hear the case.

Mason is the second judge in under a year to face felony charges in the common pleas court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest of 88 counties statewide. 

Pimp former judge Harry Jacob
Former Bedford Municipal Court judge Harry Jacob, who is White,  and was a pimp who ran a prostitution ring out of the court by all accounts, got a reprieve from any felony convictions in following a bench trial last year before Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan.

A Republica, Jacob, 58,  resigned from the bench and surrendered his law license after convictions last year on five misdemeanor counts, including solicitation and falsification of court records. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail by Corrigan, and given two years probation. He also received six months house arrest, and a fine of $2500.

Jacob's victims were drug addicted women, many of them Black women, whom he took advantage of, prosecutors said.  He was a corrupt and greedy judge, an investigation by Cleveland Urban News.Com reveals, and he got off easy by escaping charges for documented kidnapping of Black women in the court, and denying indigent Blacks counsel in serious cases. 

Corrigan dismissed all of the felony charges against Jacob, including obstruction of justice and tampering with records, and  was too lenient, community activists say, likely because Jacob is White, and was a judge.

Neither of the two judges ended their judicial careers without a fight, Jacob appealing his convictions, and Mason taking the initiative early on to try an get a replacement for a county prosecutor that he says was bias and represented a conflict of interest.

Efforts by Mason's attorney, Fernando Mack, to remove Prosecutor McGinty from the case and assign a special prosecutor,  failed.

An influential Democrat,  McGinty, who is up for reelection to a second term next year, has made violence against women his baby, while simultaneously shielding White cops that gun down unarmed Blacks from prosecution, public records show. 

Mason, 48, was arrested on Aug. 3, 2014 in Shaker Heights following a physical altercation with his wife, Aisha Mason, 
at Van Aken Boulevard near Glencairn Road in the car he was driving, and with his kids as passengers.  

Court documents state that Mason hit his wife in the face with his fist, bit her, and allegedly slammed her head against the dashboard of the car. A 9-1-1 tape reveals that Aisha Mason, who was transported to the hospital and later released, told the dispatcher that Mason beat her, threw her from the car, and then drove off with their two young children.

Aisha Mason filed for divorce Aug. 4, 2014,a day after the incident at issue. Her divorce petition cites, among other claims, extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty.
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