City Manager Accusing the Mayor of New Ethics Violations

Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black

( Cincinnati ) - The fight between the city manager and the mayor isn't getting better any time soon.

New shots were fired on Wednesday by City Manager Harry Black, as he released memos that he says detail concerns he's had for years now about what he believes is Mayor John Cranley's unethical involvement in economic development projects. 

You can read the full memos Black released to Cincinnati City Council here:

Harry Black Memos Re: Ethical Concerns

In the cover letter, Black says that he's expressed his concerns to the mayor, and "his response has been retaliation towards me and the Administration."

Black cites two examples where he became concerned: one, a communication in 2016 where he says he was told that Mayor Cranley promised a development deal to a business owner who held a fundraiser for his re-election campaign. Black also detailed hand-written notes on a 2017 memo where he expressed concern about the mayor's campaign manager being involved in a deal for a project on Elm Street. Black says that because of situations like those, he recently cancelled weekly economic development meetings with the mayor's staff.

Black also claims that because he's pushed back, his office is "under siege" and he says certain union leaders have been helping the mayor create "a hostile and retaliatory work environment." Black says that he's willing to go into more detail with Cincinnati City Council if he can be granted whistleblower protections.

Following that memo release, Mayor John Cranley released a statement of his own, saying:

"The charter and the public expects that the mayor is involved with economic development. From GE to FCC to neighborhood investments, I am proud to have made a difference in bringing jobs to the City. Only I can refer legislation to Council on economic development. Therefore, I have to be involved and should be. I am fully ethical and transparent and reject any insinuation otherwise."

It's been more than a month since Mayor Cranley called on Harry Black to resign following allegations Black made about corruption and racism in the police department. The mayor does not have support from a majority on council to oust Black, and Black himself has said that he still has work to do. Since then, there have been a series of accusations made back and forth between Cranley and Black.


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