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CLEVELAND -- The soon-to-be ex-prosecutor has been a councilman, law director, and assistant prosecutor.

Mason, whowas born in Cleveland and raised in Parma, was hired as an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor in 1987 and held the position until 1992 when he was elected councilman. In 1993, he was elected Parma's law director and chief prosecutor.

"I'm prepared to take this job and I just look forward to the opportunity," Mason told WKYC in January, 1999, on the eve of his selection by Cuyahoga County Democrats to succeed Stephanie Tubbs Jones as county prosecutor.

Tubbs-Jones had been elected to Congress and Mason was in competition with former Cleveland policedetective James Draper, who was then a public defender. Tubbs-Jones had backed Draper to succeed her at the time.

Mason emerged with the job, telling WKYC back then he would operate his office independent of any political influences, including those of his former boss, long time county prosecutor John T. Corrigan.

"I will make decisions solely based on facts as they are presented to me,"Mason told Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres. "It doesn't matter what part of the county people come from or what race they are."

In the 2000 general election Mason ran unopposed for his first elected term as prosecutor, and won re-election in 2004 with 80 percent of the vote, and again in 2008by a74 to 26percent margin.

His departure statement on Monday emphasized his office's 92 percent conviction rate, compared to a 68 percent national average, along with the success of the local Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which Mason founded in 2000.