WESTLAKE -- Long-time Westlake Republican Mayor Dennis Clough is firing back over allegations that he played a role in exposing a 2012 suspicious activity complaint regarding now Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald.
In a sit-down interview late Friday, Clough told The Investigator Tom Meyer that he had nothing to do with informing various media outlets of the incident that involved FitzGerald being in a parked car with a unidentified woman in October 2012.
"This is no witch hunt," Clough firmly stated. "Someone else may be doing one, but it's not the City of Westlake."
The 28-year mayor contends that his administrative staff was simply responding to a public records request filed by media outlets.
Westlake Police Department records show that an emergency call was placed to dispatchers at 4:26 a.m. on October 13, 2012 in the area of Mars Electric along Clemens Road.
The caller was an electrician working in the area.
"I don't know if they're having sex in the parking lot or what they're doing here," the witness explained. "All I keep seeing is like something going back and forth, and I'm like, eh, you know what, this is a little fishy."
After being identified as the "county guy" by police on scene, FitzGerald told officers he was a designated driver for members of an Irish delegation who was visiting the area.
From 2008 to early 2011, Clough and FitzGerald were neighboring mayors, as Fitzgerald oversaw Lakewood.
"As far as I know, we have a pretty good working relationship at this point in time," Clough expressed. "I have no idea why he would say that this anything more than responding to a public records request."
FitzGerald halted his campaign stops in southern Ohio on Friday afternoon.
"The City of Westlake, on city time and with city resources, is looking for dirt on me," Fitzgerald passionately said. "We'll see if we have enough evidence to turn over to the prosecutor regarding Westlake employees using city resources and time."
Follow The Investigator Tom Meyer on Twitter @tommeyerWKYC