2012 CP P(D) Digital Dossier: Triozzi, Robert

2012 Digital Dossier: Triozzi, Robert Name:  Robert Triozzi Date of Birth and Age on Election Day:  55 (estimate based on 2008 article stating he was 52) Source: http://ibmag.com/Main/Archive/Robert_Triozzi_8625.aspx Political Party Affiliation:  Democrat Campaign Address:   Triozzi for Prosecutor Committee, 359 Dalwood, Cleveland, OH 44110 (www.triozziforprosecutor.com) Campaign Officers/Participants: Susan Meaker, treasurer Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations:  none found Home Address:   2655 Haddam Road, Cleveland, 44120 Source:  http://fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us/AuditorApps/real-property/REPI/General.asp Spouse/Significant Other:   Monica (Meaker) Triozzi Source: http://probate.cuyahogacounty.us/ml/pa.urd/mliw1010.o_display?46531179931559 Children:  4 kids Source: http://ibmag.com/Main/Archive/Robert_Triozzi_8625.aspx  Educational History:  Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., 1982 Cornell University, B.A., 1979 www.calfee.com/Robert_J__Triozzi.bioProfessional Background:  see legal experience Date first admitted to bar:  11/15/1982 Source: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/AttySvcs/AttyReg/Public_AttorneyDetails.asp?ID=0016532 States of admittance:  Ohio Disciplinary history:   No discipline on file with Supreme Court of Ohio Source: http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/AttySvcs/AttyReg/Public_AttorneyDiscTrans.asp  Legal Experience:   Joined Calfee, Halter & Griswold in 2011 2006-2011 – Director of Law for City of Cleveland 1996-2005 – Cleveland Municipal Court Judge From 2006 until September 2011, he served as Director of Law for the City of Cleveland under Mayor Frank G. Jackson. Cleveland Municipal Court Judge from 1996 to 2005 1996 and prior: trial lawyer with the law firm of Goodman, Weiss, Miller served as the District Director for Congressman Eric D. Fingerhut (OH-19). started his legal career as a criminal trial lawyer with the firm of Gardner, McGinty and Stanton law clerk in the United States Attorneys Office for Northern District of Ohio.  Source: http://www.calfee.com/Robert_J__Triozzi.bio http://www.TriozziforProsecutor.com Other Employment History:  None found Social/Civic/Club Affiliations: Served on approximately 30 legal, civic, educational, faith-based and advocacy committees and boards, including The City of Cleveland Charter Review Commission, Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland, Cleveland Bar Foundation, Cleveland Bar Association, Supreme Court of Ohio’s Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and the Cleveland Summit on Education Strategy Council. He was the Co-Chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation and the Cleveland Municipal Court Mental Task Force. He also was also Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. Source: http://www.calfee.com/Robert_J__Triozzi.bio Criminal Record:  none found Civil Litigation:  none (other than being named due to position as law director) Bankruptcies: none found Ethical Issues:  none found Prior Campaigns:   2005 – Mayor of Cleveland – lost to Frank Jackson Prior Elected Offices:  Municipal Court Judge Robert J. Triozzi   Candidate for County Prosecutor   Responses to the Citizen League of Great Cleveland Candidate Questionnaire     1.  Have you ever held a position, public or private, where you were required to report gifts made to you or expenditures made on your behalf? If so, when and where? Yes, as a judge from 1996 to 2005 I was required to file annual reports with the Ohio Ethics Commission and as Cleveland Law Director I filed an annual city-wide Related Parties Questionnaire with the City’s office of Internal Audit. 2.  Has a complaint ever been filed against you, or any campaign committee acting on your behalf, in the Ohio Elections Commission, or Federal Elections Commission? The Triozzi for Mayor Committee was a few days late in filing its annual report in 2008 and was assessed a $100 penalty.  The penalty was paid, resolving the matter. 3.  What is the current balance in your campaign account? How much have you spent on your campaign? Please identify the five individuals who have contributed the most to your campaign. The current balance is approximately $15,000 and the campaign has spent approximately $13,000 to date. Eric Fingerhut, Robert Smith, Albert Ratner, Kent Markus and Brittan Disanto have been the largest contributors. 4.  Have charges of professional misconduct been filed against you, including, if you have formally served as a prosecutor, charges of prosecutorial misconduct? If so, please explain the relevant circumstances. No. 5.  In the last ten years, have you been a party to any civil lawsuit? If yes, please provide the case name and nature of the suit. No, other than being named in my official capacity as Director of Law for the City of Cleveland. 6.  Have you ever been convicted of a crime, other than a minor misdemeanor? If yes, please provide the year and jurisdiction of the conviction. No. II.        Transparency 7.  What steps do you believe can be taken at the county level to make access to public records easier? I would start by increasing the number of records readily available on-line, make the departmental public records officers more identifiable and their contact information more accessible, and make public record retrieval and processing a measured criteria in all employee evaluation processes. 8.  What steps do you believe can be taken to make the operation of the Prosecutor’s office more transparent? The office must improve the way it communicates and responds to residents, so they can be confident that we are here for them.  It will also be important to aggressively implement the county’s ethics policies, encourage full disclosure of campaign contributions and political activity, and help build public confidence in the office.  In addition, statistics relevant to death penalty prosecutions, racial fairness questions, and case outcomes should be annually reviewed, published, and publically discussed as a matter of office policy.  9.  Do you support the recent changes to permit more open discovery in criminal cases? Explain your position. Yes. A justice system is measured by its reliability, its efficiency, and its basic fairness. Open discovery enhances the reliability of outcomes in criminal prosecutions and it promotes a more timely and more accurate assessment of cases earlier in the process. At the same time, transparent compliance with due process discovery requirements advances the values of fundamental fairness which is the hallmark of a just system. As Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland, I ensured that our municipal prosecutors adhered to open discovery as a matter of policy. III.       Efficiency 10.  Did you support Issue 6, the passage of which in 2009 resulted in the present structure of government in Cuyahoga County? Explain why you held the position that you did at the time. Yes.  The streamlining of county administrative offices under the direction of one Executive made practical sense. I also believed that the change would more readily allow the County to start anew and engage its citizens in more meaningful ways. The 2009 proposed changes offered a fresh star, creating our best chance at reviving our sense of public purpose, integrity, and service.  There is never any guarantee that things will be different , which I why as prosecutor I plan to bring meaningful, lasting reform to the office. 11. Do you perceive opportunities for cooperation between local and county prosecutors that may result in greater efficiency and reduced costs? Absolutely. The delivery of an effective, efficient, and seamless criminal justice response to safety in our communities is more important than jurisdictional boundaries. Chronic offenders, family violence, childhood trauma, substance abuse, mental illness  have no respect for jurisdictional boundaries. Yet these boundaries place limits and barriers to how we effectively respond in meaningful and efficient ways. There have been proposals over the past several years on ways to bypass local prosecutors to move cases through the system more quickly, bur many of these proposals have not been implemented. As a former municipal Judge and as a former municipal Chief Prosecutor, I believe there are ways to embrace the municipal systems that would allow for more effective handling of lower-level felony offenses and to allow for the implementation of a vertical prosecution model for serious victim-centered offenses where one prosecutor takes ownership of a case from the point of the offense to the ultimate resolution of the matter. Not only will the prosecution of cases be more effective, but the ensuing efficiencies will reduce the overall costs to the criminal justice system. IV.       Competence 12.  Describe your experience working in the criminal justice system. I was a criminal trial lawyer for the first 10 years of my practice. I had extensive felony trial experience and was certified to represent indigent defendants in capital murder cases.  I served as a municipal trial judge for another 10 years, presiding over countless misdemeanor trials and felony bond hearings and preliminary hearings. During my tenure as a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge I held leadership roles in implementing the Cleveland Mental Health Court, the Cleveland Special Truancy Docket, and the Cleveland Domestic Violence Dedicated Docket. I also joined with my colleagues in establishing the Greater Cleveland Drug Court. During this time period I served as Chairperson of the Cuyahoga County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and served on the Supreme Court of Ohio Domestic Violence Advisory Council and was a faculty member of the National College of District Attorneys speaking nationally on the issue of domestic violence. I also served as a member of the Federation for Community Planning Mental Health Initiative Advisory Committee, the Federation for Community Planning Comprehensive Strategy for Delinquency Prevention and Juvenile Justice Work Group Committee, and the Cuyahoga County Mental Health Court Committee.  Serving for six years as Cleveland Law Director and Chief Prosecutor, I had direct supervision over the Criminal Division of the Law Department which was responsible for the prosecution of all criminal misdemeanor cases including domestic violence, stalking assault, OMVI, municipal tax evasion, and ethics law violations and was responsible for the filing of all felony charges and a review of all police use of deadly force cases in the City of Cleveland. During my tenure I led the revision of the City’s Deadly Force Protocol, the expansion of the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit, the implementation of the recommendations made by the Missing Persons and Sex Crimes Commission and the implementation of a drug residue misdemeanor policy consistent with county-wide practices. During this time period I served on the Executive Committee of the Cuyahoga County Justice System Reform Committee and served as Chairperson of the Policy and Procedures Committee of the Defending Childhood Initiative and the Initiative’s Innovation Lab. I also served on the steering committee for the Fugitive Safe Surrender Initiative. 13.  Have you ever run for or held public office? If so, please identify the office and the date of the election. Yes, I ran for Cleveland Municipal Court Judge in 1995 and 2001, and I ran for Mayor of the City of Cleveland in 2005. 14.  Describe your experience in administering or managing an organization, and provide details relating to the size and nature of the organization: As Law Director and Chief Prosecutor for the City of Cleveland I was the Director of a 100 member (75 Attorney) legal department responsible for providing legal services to the Mayor, City Council, and all departments, boards, and commissions of the City of Cleveland (a $1.3 billion municipal corporation). I also had direct responsibility for the management of the collective bargaining negotiations for all Departments of the City (26 unions, 33 bargaining units), and oversaw the implementation of the city-wide furlough initiative. I also provided counsel on all city-wide personnel policy changes and civil service reforms impacting the management of all city departments.  I also served as a principal member of the City-Stat management team where I conducted weekly reviews of city-wide departmental operations. As the District Director for Congressman Eric E. Fingerhut (Ohio 19), I managed a congressional district office staff of about 16 people providing case management and constituent service and representing the Congressman at all district events, meetings, and forums spanning three counties. 15.  Have you participated in preparing a budget for a business, government organization, or non-profit organization? If so, please generally describe that experience. Yes, I was directly responsible for preparing the approximately $9 million budget for the Cleveland Law Department for each of the six years I served at the City and appeared before City Council each year to defend my budget. 16 Have you dealt with public finance issues (i.e. predicting tax revenues, bond issuance, etc.) in any prior position? Describe your experience in public finance. If such experience is limited, please describe related experience. Yes, as Law Director while depending on the solid financial and legal expertise of others, I was responsible for providing all the legal opinions and documentation necessary required for all bond issuance at the City of Cleveland. I also served on the City’s Financial Audit Committee throughout my tenure as Law Director.  I am presently a member of the public finance practice group at the law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold. 17. Have you, or any business in which you held more than a 50% interest, ever filed for bankruptcy. When, where? No. 18.  In any prior position, have you developed, implemented or been in charge of enforcing an ethics policy for employees? If so, please describe. Yes, as Law Director I revised the City-wide ethics policy and provided ethics training to all Department Directors in the City. I initiated internal investigations, recommended disciplinary actions, made referrals to the Ohio Ethics Commission for potential violations and ultimately prosecuted cases involving ethics violations. 19.  Have you ever held a public position where you manage employees who were subject to civil service law? When? Where? Yes. As Law Director for the City of Cleveland, my support staff were members of the classified civil service. I also played a direct role in reform efforts involving the city-wide civil service rules. Earlier in my career I had also served as Vice-president of the City of Cleveland Service Commission. 20. Have you ever held a public or private position where you managed employees who were subject to a collective bargaining agreement? When, Where? Not directly on my staff, although I did manage collective bargaining for the entire City of Cleveland and represented each department with regard to all contract issues including disciplinary matters throughout the City. V.        Policy 21. What philosophy will you follow in choosing to reach a plea agreement with a criminal defendant rather than proceeding to trial? The goal in each case is to hold offenders accountable, to achieve a fair and equitable result, and ultimately have an impact on crime reduction in the community. Our plea negotiations will be based on that criteria. Effective plea bargaining begins with building and preparing strong cases. My attorneys will be prepared to try cases, and my expectations will be that we negotiate resolution of cases from a position of strength. Because I expect my assistants to take ownership of their assigned cases by having direct and sustained involvement with victims and law enforcement officers, their input on reaching a plea agreement will be paramount. Supervisors will ensure the integrity of the process and the resulting conviction as well as monitor the consistency and equity of the result. We will employ a regular County-Stat review process to review the overall effectiveness of our decision making for both our trial lawyers and supervisors. While overall conviction rates are instructive, we will measure overall crime reduction as a primary indicator of success. 22.  Do you believe, as a matter of policy and without regard to the status of existing law, that civil litigation involving the County is best handled by the office of the prosecutor rather than the office of the law director? Please explain your position. I believe that civil litigation involving the County would be best handled by the Prosecutor’s Office. I do believe, however, that the day-to-day legal counsel provided to the County Executive, County Council, and to the various Departments of the County would be better served by the County’s Law Director. As Cleveland Law Director and Chief Prosecutor I experienced first-hand the distinct differences between performing the house counsel responsibilities and the litigation functions in representing the City, its officers, and the citizens of Cleveland. As in the criminal prosecution setting, the litigation functions do require a greater degree of detachment and independence of legal judgment and evaluation, especially when the litigation involves allegations involving official conduct and decision making. I believe I was effective in my dual role as house counsel and chief litigator because of the high value the Mayor, Council, and the Department Directors placed on my independence and on my judgment. The singular function clearly can work; however, based on my experience I believe that separating the litigation function from the house counsel function, if you can, is a better approach. 23. Should the County Prosecutor be investigating any unresolved issues relating to public corruption? If so, which open issues? There are always open issues especially when the conduct as described in the federal indictments were so pervasive. Obviously the U.S. Attorney has been the lead in these investigations, indictments, and prosecutions and any such unresolved issues must be approached collaboratively. I believe that people need to be held accountable for their actions regardless of their station or position and ongoing vigilance in the area of public corruption is a critical mandate of the County Prosecutor. One specific unresolved issues of note is that the citizens of Cuyahoga County must be made whole as a result of the corruption in the public contract bidding process. Restitution orders against convicted individuals do not always cover the entire financial loss caused by the scheme, so a thorough review of the actual loss to the taxpayers must be ongoing and, where appropriate, civil recovery actions by the County Prosecutor should be undertaken. 24. Are there areas where the County Prosecutor can trim its budget while maintaining the office’s ability to pursue its obligations. Having gone through six years of budget reductions as Cleveland Law Director, I wish I could say this was easily accomplished. It is not. As I learned during  my experience with Cleveland City-Stat, there are always ways of changing processes, increasing efficiencies, and reducing costs, and we will work diligently to look at organizational structure and deployment to determine whether there is a more cost effective way of performing our work.  Yet my experience suggests that ultimately it will be difficult to trim the Prosecutor’s Office budget without having a detrimental impact on the obligations of the office and the services it provides, and it will make new best-practice initiatives more difficult to implement. Under current budgetary pressures, there are creative steps the next prosecutor can explore in trying to stretch resources.  As just one example, the prosecutor should explore opportunities with the legal community in Cleveland to develop a loaned-executive program where young lawyers work in the office at their firm’s cost in exchange for trial and other courtroom experience they would not otherwise get.  When viewed more broadly, however, there are a number of areas where we can have a significant impact on the overall County public safety and justice affairs budget. The Justice System Reform efforts have already demonstrated a pathway to reduce incarceration costs and efficiencies in case management can have an impact on justice system costs. Working collaboratively and more efficiently with municipalities will also have an impact on overall public safety and justice system costs. Working effectively to reduce crime in the community ultimately impacts prosecution and incarceration costs. And a reduction in crime in any community, not to mention the elimination of public corruption, helps establish the foundation for economic growth throughout the County. 25.  If you are elected, what will be your top three goals as Prosecutor? Broadly speaking the top three goals are the (1) Protection of residents and victims by working tirelessly to reduce crime, (2) Improving the Office of Prosecutor by implementing  reform efforts that fight public corruption and promote the success of the new County government structure, and (3) an unrelenting assault on predatory behavior of all stripes in the County.  Specifically we will: 1.  Establish a specific and identifiable public corruption unit as well as special victims units (sex crimes victims, domestic violence victims, child victims, senior victims) and enhance the economic crimes unit that presently exists. This will allow us to implement a vertical prosecution model that allows the same assistant prosecutor to counsel law enforcement, issue charges, secure protection orders, make bond recommendations, present the case to the Grand Jury, and represent the State during all pretrial proceedings, plea hearing, trials, sentencing hearings, and all post-trial proceedings.  The model would allow for more effective case building at the initial stages of the investigation and in the case of special victims would solidify the relationship between victims and the prosecuting attorney that would ultimately increase the chances of a successful prosecution.  This model would require valued input and strong collaboration with municipal systems across the county, but would advance all three of the stated goals above.. 2.  Refocus on the juvenile justice system by broadly expanding the community-based prosecution model to identify and isolate the activities of chronic juvenile offenders, expand mediation and diversion opportunities thoroughly and consistently throughout the county, and expand and support crime prevention initiatives that counter prevailing attitudes toward truancy, criminal, and anti-social behavior.  The juvenile justice system has to be made a primary focus of prosecution, law enforcement, and crime prevention efforts. Our policies and procedures would complement existing and proposed community policing models across the county. 3.  Create an intelligence-driven prosecution/crime strategies unit that specifically targets priority offenders to impact charging decisions, bail applications, plea decisions, and sentencing recommendations.  The focus would be to address the offender’s impact on criminal activity across jurisdictional boundaries regardless of the level of offenses and would utilize data based on the offenders affiliations, type of crime, access to weapons, and targets of crime.  A small number of offenders are responsible for a disproportionate amount of criminal and disruptive behavior in our community.  These offenders need to be targeted, monitored, and held accountable at all times and in all places. 26.  What are the most important steps that can be taken by the County Prosecutor to prevent the type of corruption that has recently taken place in local, county, and special governments? We have to recognize that public corruption costs everyone in the County disproportionately.  To compete in a global economy, we simply cannot tolerate public corruption and have to create a culture of transparent and effective government.  To those ends, the County Prosecutor has a lead role in combating public corruption.  The effectiveness of the Prosecutor depends on a close working relationship with law enforcement who follow leads and build solid cases. Creating a specialized Public Integrity Unit in the Prosecutor’s Office is an important first step in establishing the necessary relationships with law enforcement agencies across the County to help guide the investigations at the outset and then vigorously pursue criminal cases to their completion. The U.S. Attorney/FBI model is an important one to emulate. The challenge is to establish that close working relationship with a multitude of departments and agencies across the County and the integrity, commitment, and collaborative leadership abilities of the County Prosecutor is an essential component of creating that effective working relationship that can help fight public corruption throughout the County before it reaches the levels we have seen. 27.  Do you support the proposed change to state law that would give prosecutors the right to demand a trial by jury? No. 28. Has the system changed adequately in response to the revelations following the arrest of Anthony Sowell on the issue of responsiveness to allegations of sexual assault? What more, if anything should be done? No. As stated in the above answer to Question No. 25, victims would be better served if one prosecutor was assigned to the entire investigation and prosecution of the entire case. While the vertical prosecution model would be more effective in all cases, it is essential that it be implemented where there are allegations of sexual assault.