2016 CP P(D) Digital Dossier O'Malley, Michael

2016 CP P(D) Digital Dossier O'Malley, Michael

Video of our interview with Mr. O'Malley is available here.  

I. Personal Information

A. Name: Michael O’Malley

B. Date of Birth and Age on Election Day:  Born on August 4, 1963

C. Home Address: Cuyahoga County

D. Spouse/Significant Other:

E.  Children:

F.  Social/Civic/Club Affiliation:

II. Educational History

Kent State University

Cleveland Marshall School of Law

III. Employment History

-Safety Director, City of Parma
-Assistant Cuy. County Prosecutor
-Municipal Attorney
-Private Legal Practice: Criminal Defense Attorney & Probate Work
-Probation Officer, City of Cleveland
-Bailiff, City of Cleveland

IV. Background Check

  A. Criminal Record: None found.

  B. Civil Litigation: None found.

  C. Bankruptcy: None found. 

V. Campaign Information

            A. Political Party: Democrat

            B. Campaign Address: 6710 Brookside Drive, Cleveland OH 44114

            C. Campaign Officers/Participants: John Cigas, Treasurer

            D. Prior Campaigns: Cleveland City Council (6 years)

            E. Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations: 

                        -Congresswoman Marcia Fudge

Responses to the League's Questionnaire.  Written materials referenced by the candidate are available from the League upon request. 

I.          Integrity

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. Cleveland City Council 1999-2005

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?


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.

I announced my candidacy on January 21st. I had my first fund raiser Wednesday and am awaiting figures.  To begin, my campaign account was funded by a $10,000 loan to myself. I have called upon county council to enact campaign finance reforms. I did not receive this questionnaire until today (yesterday). I will provide more details.

4. Have charges of professional misconduct been filed against you, including, if you have formerly served as a prosecutor, charges of prosecutorial misconduct?  If so, please explain the relevant circumstances.


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.


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.


II.         Transparency

7. What steps do you believe can be taken to make the operation of the Prosecutor’s office more transparent?

Allow the public to review all case files on line excluding confidential attorney work product and information not a public record under Ohio law. Additionally, I believe the public would benefit by having budget information as well as documenting expenditures from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund and Furtherance of Justice Fund.

8. Are improvements needed to the office’s procedures and processes for responding to public records requests?

Reducing the response time is always an improvement. When completing and providing records, the office must follow the law, particularly with the following:

Who can make a request for public records? 

Any person can request public records by simply asking for them. Usually, the request can be made in any manner the requester chooses: by phone, in person, or in an e-mail or letter. The requester cannot be required to identify him- or herself, or to explain why the records are being requested, unless a specific law requires it. Often, however, a voluntary discussion about the requester’s purposes or interest in seeking certain information can aid the public office in locating and producing the desired records. R.C. 149.43(B)(5).


9. Do you believe that grand jury proceedings should be more or less transparent?

I believe Prosecutor McGinty made serious errors in his selective release of information during the Rice grand jury proceeding. I think any changes in current secrecy requirements should be in consultation with the Ohio Supreme Court and be consistent with all cases in the county and throughout the state. I support increasing the transparency of grand jury proceedings but not in a unilateral or arbitrary manner.

Model Rule 3.6 and Extrajudicial Statements about Pending Matters

“Substantial Likelihood of Materially Prejudicing a Proceeding”

Model Rule 3.6(a) states the fundamental principle that determines when public statements regarding pending matters are permitted and prohibited:

A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

This standard also likely governs dissemination of court pleadings, transcripts, and the like to the media without further comment. See Pa. Informal Op. 96-45 (June 21, 1996).


III.       Efficiency

10.  Is the current level of administrative support staffing within the prosecutor’s office appropriate?

No. Prosecutor McGinty has added to the administrative staff political appointees whose jobs are unnecessary and are an extreme waste of taxpayer dollars. He created 3 senior level positions that never existed with the average pay in excess of $100,000. These individuals are not attorneys yet make more than a vast majority of the attorneys in the office.

11.  Is the current level of legal professional staffing within the prosecutor’s office appropriate?

Yes, however, further review is necessary.

12.  Does the prosecutor’s office currently have adequate information technology systems?


13.  Do you perceive opportunities for cooperation between local and county prosecutors that may result in greater efficiency and reduced costs?

Absolutely. Prior to being dismantled by Prosecutor McGinty, the Justice System Reform (JSR) Committee had an Early Disposition Program that saved local municipalities millions of dollars. More importantly, it improved the quality of Justice delivered in our county. Unfortunately, due to an inability to have constructive dialogue with Prosecutor McGinty, the Common Pleas Judges have withdrawn from participation in the JSR Committee. When elected, I will restart the process of improving our justice system by working in collaboration with the court.


14.  Are there opportunities for cost savings that were not included in the most recent budget submittal? 

There are plenty of opportunities to save costs. Initially, I will reduce the bloated administrative staff. I will save over a million dollars per year in that area alone. I will then begin the process of analyzing each line item to bring about more efficiencies. It should be noted that while most county budgets have been reduced, the prosecutors' office budget has increased 11% over the last 3 years.

IV.       Competence

15.  Describe your experience working in the criminal justice system.

I started working in the criminal justice system 30 years ago. I was a court bailiff for 6 years, a probation officer for 3 years, had a private law practice for 14 years, and was a county prosecutor for 8 years. Currently, I am the Safety Director of the City of Parma.

16.  Have you ever run for or held public office? If so, please identify the office and the date of the election.  

Cleveland City Council 1999 - 2005.

17.  Describe your experience in administering or managing an organization, and provide details relating to the size and nature of the organization.

I was employed as the City of Cleveland Assistant Director of Public Utilities from 2005 to 2007. I assisted in managing 1500 employees with a 400-million-dollar budget.

From 2007 to 2013 I was the First Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor. I assisted in managing the office that I am seeking. For the past 7 months, I have worked as the Parma Safety Director managing 250 employees.

18.  Have you participated in preparing a budget for a business, government organization, or non-profit organization?  If so, please generally describe that experience.

I assisted in budget preparation for the Utilities Department, and the Prosecutors Office.

19.  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. 

While serving on Cleveland City Council I was a member of the Finance Committee. We annually oversaw and approved the budget of all City Divisions.

20.  Have you, any business in which you held more than a 50% interest, or any governmental agency you have served faced insolvency? When, where? 


21.  In any prior position, have you developed, implemented or been in charge of enforcing an ethics policy for employees? If so, please describe. 

As First Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, I enforced the ethics policy of our employees. On significant issues, this was done in consultation with the County Prosecutor.

22.  Have you ever held a public position where you managed employees who were subject to civil service laws.  When?  Where? 

As Safety Director of Parma, I deal with Civil Service Issues on a daily basis. I also dealt with Civil Service issues during my 6 years as First Assistant Prosecutor.

23.  Have you ever held a public or private position where you managed employees who were subject to a collective bargaining agreement?  When, Where?

As Safety Director, I am currently dealing with 8 separate Union contracts. While Assistant Director of Public Utilities, I also managed numerous Union employees and handled a three day strike by CPP linemen that was resolved through federal mediation.

V.        Policy

24.  Do you believe that the County Prosecutor should be appointed by the County Executive? 


25.  Do you believe that the next County Prosecutor should take steps to improve the relationship between the criminal justice system and the African American community in Cuyahoga County?

Absolutely. I have a bold and comprehensive agenda (see attached) to restore the public’s confidence. My agenda is based upon three broad goals. One of those goals is building bridges to the community which reflects my strong opinion that relationships must be repaired, developed and strengthened with the African-American community. As important as my three goals of my agenda, I have made it very clear that I will assemble a strong, diverse senior team who will ensure justice is fair and impartial and assist with implementing by agenda. The staff and the decision-makers must be representative of our community.

26.  Does the diversity within the legal professional staff of the prosecutor’s office appropriately reflect the community it serves?  

Ideally, there would be more male African-American Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutors.  However, I am cognizant that they are underrepresented in the legal profession.
As a result, when hired, they often leave for higher paying positions. More must be done and I will do that to hire and retain African-American attorneys.

 27.  In what ways would you handle differently the grand jury proceedings relating to the death of Tamir Rice?

a) I would have more quickly brought the case to resolution,
b) not selectively released information to the media during the presentation,
c) not obtained expert reports on the ultimate issue of the case,
d) not allowed the officers to testify without being subject to cross examination,
e) not derailing the grand juries ability to vote at the conclusion of the presentation,
f) not opposed the release of the transcripts AFTER I had already released other evidence throughout the presentation of the case.

I have attached my response to a negative statement published by Prosecutor McGinty wherein I make clear how I would have handled this case.

28.  Considering the consent decree to which the Cleveland Police Department is now bound, and the findings relating to that department’s use of force policies and procedures, what can the prosecutor’s office do to help that department improve? 

The prosecutor’s office can assist the CPD by assisting them in training so that the officers on the street are up to date on the latest changes in statutory and case law.

29.  Do you have, or do you home to have, the support in this campaign of any police union?  

I do not have the support of any police union. My campaign committee has sent letters to every labor union in Cuyahoga County requesting their endorsement including police unions.

30.  Do you believe that the balance of responsibilities as between the office of the County Prosecutor and the office of the County Law Director is appropriate?  Do you believe it can be improved?  

I believe the balance of power between the CCPO and the law department has been adequately addressed and does not need to be revisited. 

31.  Identify three policy positions that distinguish you from your competitor.  

a) I will reform Grand Jury by mandating cases of police using lethal force on civilians be handled by the AG’s office.

b) I will restore community based prosecution unit so communities are familiar with the prosecutors who will be handling their cases.

c) I believe the Justice System Reform movement is critical to the citizens of this county.  My leadership will reignite this process as I have a track record of being able to work constructively with others.

My work will begin to restore trust and confidence in the office by community engagement. As prosecutor, I will personally meet with individuals and groups throughout the county so that when difficult issues arise, they have confidence in the integrity of the decisions I make.

See attached for my agenda which entails more policies that distinguish me.

32.  What are the most important steps that can be taken by the County Prosecutor to prevent the type of corruption that resulted in many recent federal prosecutions? 

The most important steps that can be taken to prevent public corruption is to consistently and diligently pursue any hint of impropriety. I also believe campaign finance reform is necessary. My opponent took $90,000 from one individual and took it during the height of the largest corruption probe in this county’s history: Jimmy Dimora trial. See attached.