Sara's Circle: Balancing the scales with Carole Rendon

Sara's Circle: Carole Rendon

CLEVELAND - CLEVELAND -- Carole Rendon will take over the role Steven Dettelbach has held since 2009, when he steps down Friday. She'll become the Acting United States Attorney for Northern Ohio.

“He’s got really big shoes that I need to try to fill,” said Rendon of the job as chief law enforcement officer for the district. “It’s a little terrifying, but it’s just an incredible opportunity, and one I’m so grateful to be able to take on in the next coming days.”

We're starting a new series Thursdays on Channel 3 News at 6 about the women in Northeast Ohio's communities who make things happen. These are women who see the possible, women you'd like to have in your group, women we’re bringing into Sara’s Circle.

“I think that I see things much more in the shades of gray in which the world really exists than the black and white,” she says.

The federal courthouse isn’t new to the seasoned attorney. As the first AUSA for six and half years, she's rooted out crime and wrongdoing. She was key in investigating Cleveland Police Department, and then crafting the consent decree, that she says, is now at the end of the its beginning.

“This is not a short-term fix. This is going to take a long time, but it comes with so much promise, for our city, for the next generation. And I truly believe that five years from now, when I look back on all of the things that I’ve done in my professional career, many of which I’m incredibly proud of, that’s going to be the highest on the list,” she said.

Define justice:

“Justice for me is fairness and equality and transparency. It’s everybody feeling like their voice is being heard and being treated fairly and equally. It’s a goal. It’s an ideal that we keep striving for, but we’re humans, and we don’t always get there. It’s absolutely the bedrock of everything that matters in our country, so if we can focus on that, if we can get to justice, we can get to so much more.”

On success in Northern Ohio:

“This is where I grew up. This is where my kids are being raised. This is where my family lives. This is where my heart is. For me to be able to have the opportunity to work on the people of our district, has been just an incredible privilege. And it absolutely does mean more because this is me. This is where I’m from.”

Fighting for her children's future:

“It’s them, the four of them, my husband (Michael), and my three boys (Daniel, 26; Alex, 24; Seth, 12), that get me up every morning and keep me going everyday. I’m fighting for them and their future.”

“My mother is my best friend. I talk to my mother, (Harriet) literally every day. She has been the president of my fan club for as long as I can remember, to the extent that I have had a fan club. She’s smart. She’s kind, she’s wise. I’m also blessed to have an incredible mother-in-law who just sends me unconditional love and support all the time. Not everybody is blessed with that, but I really am. I have incredible step sisters and sisters-in-law.”

"Don't call me unless there's blood on the floor."

“When I walk in the door in the morning, I’m completely and totally here. The office, the people we work with, the agencies we work with, have my full and undivided attention. I always joke with my family, I say, ‘If there’s not blood on the floor, don’t call me at work. I’m working!’ so that I really can maintain that focus on what I’m doing when I’m here. By the same token, when I walk out the door and walk into my home, I’m 110% at home. And my husband, my kids, my extended family and friends, they have 110% of my attention and my focus. And so everybody at the office knows, ‘Don’t call me at home unless there’s blood on the floor!’ I’m doing homework. I’m making dinner, I’m with my family. And if there really is an emergency, call the house phone.”

How to have work-life balance:

“One of the things my mom said to me a long time ago, that I’ve really taken to heart is you can’t look at it as a daily balancing act, inevitably you’re going to have many days every week where you’ve failed in one direction or the other. What she always said to do is take a step back at the end of the year, and ask yourself: Did you have days where you were a little good wife? A really good mother, a really good sister, daughter, friend, colleague, manager, lawyer? And if you can answer yes, I had days where I was really good at each of those things, then your life is in balance.”

How to care of yourself:

“I often start my day walking Copper, or being walked by Copper, depending on the morning and how excited she is to be outside…That helps me ground myself. So my day starts with something that’s important to me. That helps me feel good physically and mentally and gets me off on the right foot for the rest of the day.”

Her excitement on the Republican National Convention 2016:

“I think the RNC is going to be an incredible event. I think the entire world is going to be watching us. And I think we’re going to be amazing, and it’s going to come right on the heels of the Cavs having won the championship. Everybody is going to see the Cleveland that you and I see every day…You’ve seen people who are not happy, and rightfully so, with some of the things that have happened in our city and are vocal about it, but vocal about it in a positive, constructive, appropriate and peaceful way, because that’s Cleveland.”

On her future:

“Nobody knows what the fall is going to bring and what the next {Presidential} administration is going to look like, so I’m not even sort of looking past that point. If I have to hand it off to somebody else, when they take it from me, I hope they’re like, ‘Wow! This place is in really great shape!’ That’s the goal.


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