(Cleveland)- The tension between the Cleveland City Council and Mayor Shan Ash over an unauthorized letter sent ( or not sent) by the mayor got a little heated Monday night as the council began their meeting.
At the start of the meeting Mayor Ash asked for approval of the nights meeting agenda and councilman Bradley Green made a motion to remove the item of old business that referred to a letter to Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Greene explained that he had received information that the letter in question had never been sent.
That kicked off a long discussion sometime heated comments by both council members and the mayor.
During the approximately 18 minute discussion Mayor Ash asked why has this whole thing been brought forward if you didn’t know if it had been sent or not. Councilwoman Annie Sutton replied “ the reason it was put on the agenda was because it was an ethics violation.”
Ash responded “ so you are accusing me of an ethics violation?”
Sutton replied “ I’m not accusing you of anything.”
Ash asked about the letter” did anyone ask if it had been sent or received?” “ I’m not saying anything else about it, because that letter was between me and the individual and chief Foster, that I tried to do the right way and your setting here accusing me of an ethics violation, “ commented Mayor Ash.
Eventually they voted on Greene’s motion to remove the item from the agenda Greene and councilwoman Nan Bowen voted yes, councilman Kevin Stanley abstained because he said he had a private discussion with a family member of the subject of the letter and he didn’t fill like he should cast a vote council woman Annie Sutton voted no, because she said they didn’t know for sure if the letter was sent.
It ended up that Mayor Ash cast the deciding vote to remove the item from the agenda.
Following that vote Mayor Ash had this to say to the council. “ if I had not talked to the city attorney when all this came about you as a council could have exposed the city to potential litigation by the irresponsible choices and directions that you have made while handling this matter.”