Cleveland Hires Former U.S. Attorney to Coordinate Police Consent Decree

Gregory White talks with media after being sworn in by the mayor.
Gregory White talks with media after being sworn in by the mayor. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
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by Nick Castele

Cleveland is hiring Gregory White, a former federal magistrate judge and U.S. attorney, to ensure the city complies with its police reform agreement. The $125,000-a-year position will coordinate city departments involved with the consent decree.

The city’s consent decree with the Justice Department doesn’t call for this position. But Mayor Frank Jackson said it’s necessary, because the agreement requires a massive amount of work.

“And it needs to be coordinated,” Jackson said. “And we want to do it, and do it right. We don’t just want to check the box. We want to get a substantive outcome.”

White said he’ll make sure the city achieves the goals set by the consent decree monitoring team.

“There’s a lot of moving parts, and there are a lot of deadlines,” White said. “And the goal here, and I know the mayor’s goal, is to meet those deadlines head on so that the city can move on beyond this.”

Jackson said White will report to him as an executive assistant and will also work with police and the city law department. 

“He will have as much power as I give him,” Jackson said, “and I intend to give him as much as he needs to do his job.”

White served most recently as a federal magistrate judge. Before that, he spent five years as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, from 2003 to 2008.

His office tackled numerous corruption cases, including the convictions of East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor and businessman Nate Gray. The broader Cuyahoga County corruption investigation also took off under his watch, eventually snaring commissioner Jimmy Dimora, auditor Frank Russo and many others. 

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