Investigator: County Councilman expects investigation of FitzGerald

CLEVELAND -- At least one Cuyahoga County Councilman now expects an investigation into the invalid driver's license once held by Cuyahoga County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald.

"This news is breaking in the past 10 days, and my expectation is the Inspector General would conduct an investigation into Mr. Fitzgerald," said Councilman Dave Greenspan, from the lawn of his Westlake home.

"We're all held accountable to the same standards."

A Channel 3 investigation found at least nine county employees, like FitzGerald, in violation of an invalid driver's license.

Records show the majority of the employees are social workers based at the Jane Edna Building at East 40th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Each disciplined worker was ordered to reimburse the county up to $863. Five others received written reprimands, two had to receive verbal counseling, while the other was suspended without pay for a week.

It's unknown if FitzGerald will be punished.

"One might argue that as elected officials we're held accountable to a higher standard, to insure , especially since we brought forward these policies."

Earlier this month, a story in the Columbus Dispatch first reported FitzGerald was driving with a temporary driver's license the night he was discovered in a Westlake parking lot alone in a car with a woman in 2012.

Furthermore, he had not held a regular Ohio driver's license for at least five years prior to 2012, citing records kept by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Fitzgerald's campaign press secretary confirmed this report to Channel 3 News.

The story points out that, if FitzGerald had driven his car after dropping the woman, a member of an Irish delegation, off at her hotel, it would have been illegal.

Ohio law requires drivers with temporary permits be accompanied by a licensed driver.

"This was a mistake," FitzGerald told Channel 3 News. "I apologize and, since 2012, I have had a valid driver's license."

The Inspector General Nailah Byrd, appointed by FitzGerald,, has been reviewing the potential violations, and has yet to make comments publicly.

Channel 3 News reached out to her office on Friday, as phone calls and emails have not yet been returned.

Follow The Investigator Tom Meyer on Twitter: @TomMeyerWKYC


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