Mayor says City Department Head was Behind Controversial Tweets

Mayor Frank Jackson talked about the Twitter controversy in his office Thursday. Photo by Joanna Richards
Mayor Frank Jackson talked about the Twitter controversy in his office Thursday. Photo by Joanna Richards

Mayor Frank Jackson today identified the director of Cleveland's Community Relations Board as the writer of controversial Tweets Monday night asking if the city should “be burned down” like Baltimore.

Jackson said Blaine Griffin got a "stern verbal reprimand" and is no longer Tweeting.

“He's a good person – one of my best directors – and he gets a lot of great results, but he screwed up this time,” the mayor said.

The Twitter account has been deleted, and Jackson said he's tightening oversight of official city communications.

The city's Community Relations Board works to foster peace between different cultural groups. It created a Twitter account Friday and solicited thoughts on police-community relations, in an effort to defuse tension ahead of a verdict in the trial of Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo.

The mayor said the Tweets were well-intentioned but poorly executed. He said Griffin was trying to distinguish the city from others where violent protests have erupted.

Jackson credited Griffin with helping to maintain calm during recent protests on police issues.

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