The iOpener: Proposal to Return to Elected Sheriff; Ohio Senate Proposes Deeper Tax Breaks in Budget

Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney at a press conference in 2015
Cuyahoga County is considering returning the sheriff's position to an elected one. Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney at a press conference in 2015 [Nick Castele / ideastream]

Good morning, iOpeners. It's Wednesday, June 12, 2019. It's the third anniversary of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Forty-nine people died at the gay club and 53 were wounded before the shooter was killed by police.  

A proposal to return the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's position from an appointed one to an elected one is under consideration in the County Council. Republican Councilman Mike Gallagher, who has long supported the change, said it’s the only way to fix a department that’s in disarray. The county jail, which falls under the oversight of the sheriff, is under federal and state scrutiny for alleged mistreatment of inmates. Nine inmates have died since June 2018. In 2010, following a massive corruption scandal, Cuyahoga County changed its leadership format from a board of commissioners to an executive and from an elected sheriff to an appointed one. Since then, the county has had four sheriffs.

Ohio Senate Republicans made sweeping changes to the House version of the state budget, including an across-the-board 8 percent income tax cut for all Ohioans. They also restored tax breaks that the House had eliminated or reduced. The Senate’s budget also includes $550 million that Gov. Mike DeWine wanted for more educational wrap-around services, and more money for growing school districts whose funding has been capped. The deadline for the budget is June 30.   

Cleveland has reached a settlement with a man who was arrested for burning the American flag during the 2016 Republican National Convention. The city will pay $225,000 to Gregory Lee Johnson, who had claimed his civil rights were violated. A spokesman for Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration said the city denies liability and an insurer is paying the settlement.

Gov. DeWine has officially requested a disaster declaration from President Trump for 10 counties affected by tornadoes on Memorial Day and the day after. State officials say 21 tornadoes touched down. Federal and state officials say 942 homes and buildings were destroyed or significantly damaged.

The Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, in extra innings to take the first game of their Battle of Ohio interleague series. Rookie Oscar Mercado hit a clutch, bases-loaded single with one out in the 10th inning to get the Indians the win.

Weather forecast: Mostly sunny, high 79.  Tonight, an increasing threat of thunderstorms, with rain likely after 1 a.m. Low 60.  Tomorrow, showers and thunderstorms, winds gusting to 22 mph, high 68.

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