(Cleveland)- Cleveland Mayor Shan Ash and the city council are at odds over a letter that the mayor sent to the state board of pardons and paroles recently, without the consent of the council.
During Tuesday nights council meeting Mayor Ash said he did not compose the letter, which was on City of Cleveland letterhead and dated July 19th, but signed it with good intentions. The letter was a recommendation for restoration of rights for a White County resident who was convicted of a felony that occurred in 1996.
In written information provided only to the media during the meeting Ash said, “ the individual asked for my assistance in obtaining a pardon.” According to the mayor the individual completed all terms of probation and the individual has an opportunity to obtain a better job to support the needs of family. He said many other leaders nationally, state and local have written such letters.
Ash further stated that city council members have made the decision to make my actions public and resent the letter by resolution, “ I’m disappointed in their decision,” said Ash.
He told the council Tuesday night he does not support their intentions, “ I’m here to tell you I won’t sign it, if we do a resolution because I own it, I did it and I did it on city letterhead without the knowledge of the council, I’m sorry,” commented Ash.
Ash said he did not want to identify the individual without his consent.
City Attorney Grant Keene several times during the meeting advised the council that the current wording on the resolution is not appropriate after other information has come to light. Additionally attorney Keene said, “ more people were involved than the mayor and council.”
After much discussion the council instructed Keene to come up with a revised document for their approval.
Mayor Ash in his information to the media said I would like to bring attention to a Georgia program that benefits all Georgia communities. It is the Georgia Justice Project. The Georgia Justice Project gives second chances for people with records.