2010 CE G Digital Dossier: FitzGerald, Ed

Digital Dossier: FitzGerald, Ed

Our research relating to Mr. FitzGerald is followed by his response to our questionnaire.  You may e-mail us for a copy of this candidate's initial campaign finance disclosure.  For an update on campaign finance, please read: http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2010/08/matt_dolan_and_ed_fitzgerald_lead_money_race_for_cuyahoga_county_executive_primaries.html

Name: Ed FitzGerald  

Date of Birth and Age on Election Day: 42[1]             

Political Party Affiliation: Democrat

Campaign Address: 1836 West 25th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113[2]

Campaign Officers/Participants:

-          William J. Barrett, Treasurer: Friends of FitzGerald[3]

Campaign Endorsements/Affiliations:[4]

  • AFL-CIO Federation of Labor
  • Cuyahoga County Democratic Party
  • Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Cleveland Stonewall Democrats
  • Heat and Frost Insulators Union, Local #3
  • Laborers’ Local 860
  • Ohio and Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Parma Heights Democratic Club
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local #33
  • Nickie Antonio, Lakewood Councilperson (and soon to be State Rep)
  • Mike Byrne, Parma Heights Mayor
  • Matt Castelli, Middleburg Heights City Councilman
  • Kevin Conwell , Cleveland Ward 9 Councilman
  • TJ Dow, Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman
  • Chuck Germana, Parma City Council President
  • Frankie Goldberg, University Heights City Councilwoman
  • Clinton Hall, Warrensville Heights Mayor
  • Nathaniel Martin, East Cleveland Council President
  • Jim McCall, Parma Heights Council at Large
  • Matt Patten, State Rep (18-Strongsville)
  • Eileen Patton, Fairview Park Mayor
  • Charles Smith, Woodmere Mayor
  • Bob Verdile, Parma Heights Councilman
  • Rob Zimmerman, Shaker Heights City Councilman
  • Richard Cordray, Ohio Attorney General
  • Cleveland Port Maritime Council
  • Laborers’ Local 310
  • Lakewood Democratic Club
  • Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6
  • Seven Hills Democratic Club
  • Teamsters’ Ohio D.R.I.V.E (Democrats, Republican, Independents Voter Education)
  • Richard H. Balbier, Brooklyn Mayor
  • Fletcher D. Berger, Bedford Heights Mayor
  • Vic Collova, Garfield Heights Mayor
  • Brian Day, Parma City Councilman
  • Trevor Elkins, Newburgh Heights Clerk-Treasurer
  • Al Foster, Shaker Heights Councilman
  • Susan Infeld, University Heights Mayor
  • Kevin Kearney, North Olmsted Council-at-Large
  • Edward J. Kelley, Cleveland Heights Mayor
  • Kevin Kennedy, North Olmsted Mayor
  • Robert Nash, Highland Hills Mayor
  • Gary Norton, East Cleveland Mayor
  • Lawrence Orlowski, North Olmsted Councilman
  • Kathleen M. Pucci, Brooklyn City Council President
  • Lynn Ruffner, Shaker Heights Councilwoman
  • Sunny Simon, South Euclid City Councilman
  • David Smith, North Randall Mayor
  • Ken Ramser, Parma Councilman

Home Address: 01269 Overlook Road, Lakewood, Ohio, 44107[5]

Spouse/Significant Other: Shannon[6]

Children: 4[7]

Educational History:

-          Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1993[8]

-          The Ohio State University, 1990[9]


Employment History:

-          Mayor of Lakewood, 2007 – present[10]

-          Collins & Scanlon, LLP, 2003 – 2007[11]

-          Supervising Assistant County Prosecutor, 1999 – 2002[12]

-          Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1996 – 1999[13]

-          Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor (Juvenile Court) 1994 – 1995[14]

-          U.S. Reps. Edward Feighan, [15] Eric Fingerhut,[16] 1992 – 1994

Social/Civic/Club Affiliations:

Criminal Record: none known

Civil Litigation: one case, sued a doctor in Brecksville.  Not sure for what. Ended up dismissing the action with prejudice.[17]  Cuy. Cty. Case No. CV-07-634941

Bankruptcies: none known

Ethical Issues: none known

Prior Campaigns:

-          Mayor of Lakewood, 2008 – present[18]

-          Lakewood City Council, 1999 – 2007[19]

Money Raised as of June 30, 2010: $82,000 (this cycle)[20]

Cash on Hand as of June 30, 2010: $55,000[21]

[1] http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county-reform/index.ssf/2010/07/problem-solver_or_opportunist.html

[2] http://edfitzgerald.org/

[3] http://edfitzgerald.org/

[4] http://edfitzgerald.org/endorsements.html

[5] http://auditor.cuyahogacounty.us/repi/General.asp

[6] http://edfitzgerald.org/about.html

[7] http://edfitzgerald.org/about.html

[8] http://www.collins-scanlon.com/attorney_profiles_fitzgerald.html

[9] http://www.collins-scanlon.com/attorney_profiles_fitzgerald.html

[10] http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ed-FitzGerald-for-County-Executive-2010/214015302206?ref=tshere#!/pages/Ed-FitzGerald-for-County-Executive-2010/214015302206?v=info&ref=tshere

[11] http://www.collins-scanlon.com/attorney_profiles_fitzgerald.html

[12] http://edfitzgerald.org/about.html; http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county-reform/index.ssf/2010/07/problem-solver_or_opportunist.html 

[13] http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county-reform/index.ssf/2010/07/problem-solver_or_opportunist.html

[14] http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county-reform/index.ssf/2010/07/problem-solver_or_opportunist.html

[15] http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county-reform/index.ssf/2010/07/problem-solver_or_opportunist.html

[16] http://www.collins-scanlon.com/attorney_profiles_fitzgerald.html

[17] http://cpdocket.cp.cuyahogacounty.us/p_CV_Docket.aspx 

[18] http://edfitzgerald.org/about.html

[19] http://www.collins-scanlon.com/attorney_profiles_fitzgerald.html

[20] http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2010/07/cuyahoga_county_executive_candidates_file_first_campaign_finance_reports.html

[21] http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2010/07/cuyahoga_county_executive_candidates_file_first_campaign_finance_reports.html

  1. Integrity


  1. Have you have held a position, public or private, where you were required to report gifts made to you or expenditures made on your behalf?  When, where?


Yes, as a City Councilman and as a Mayor, I have never accepted any.


  1. Did you attend any type of ethics training relating to holding or campaigning for public office?


No, not per se.  I did have extensive ethics training in order to serve in the FBI.


  1. Has a complaint ever been filed against you, or any campaign committee acting on your behalf, in the Ohio Elections Commission, or Federal Elections Commissions?


Yes, a minor complaint was filed with the Ohio Elections Commission during my race for mayor.


  1. In the last five years, have you been a party to any civil law suit?  If yes, please provide the case name and nature of the suit.


Yes, in my capacity as an agent of the City of Lakewood only.


  1. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, other than a minor misdemeanor?  If yes, please provide the year and jurisdiction of the conviction.



  1. What steps have you taken to ensure that your campaign is complying with Ohio Campaign Finance law?


As you know, the Charter includes very little on the subject of campaign finance.  I have made sure that my campaign is adhering to the law completely.



  1. In your opinion, what are the most important steps that can be taken to prevent the type of corruption that has recently been alleged to have occurred in county offices and other public entities?


In have put forth a plan to establish an independent Inspector General’s Office and to institute the highest ethical standards for all county employees.  The County must constantly monitor its own financial and ethical policies.


  1. Transparency


  1. What steps do you believe can be taken at the county level to make access to public records easier?


I believe the county needs to make all public records under its control available on the internet, as well as accessible to those who do not have internet access.


  1. What steps to you believe can be taken to make campaign finance reports more transparent/easily accessible to the public?


Campaign finance reports should also be easily accessible online.  When the charter is updated, it is imperative that it include stringent campaign finance requirements.



10.  What steps do you believe can be taken to make the operation of the new county government more transparent?


County government must enable citizens to get understandable information

easily; it’s crucial that we consistently err on the side of openness in order to help restore the trust of our citizens.


  1. Efficiency


11.  What steps do you believe could be taken to improve cooperation between county government and other local governments?


There are many steps that should be taken to improve cooperation between county government and other local governments.  First, other local governments must be included at the table as we develop a strategic plan for economic development.  Next, we will work to find various ways that local governments might be able to share services through economies of scale and invite them to do so; for example, there are probably multiple information technology departments which could be consolidated and done more efficiently.  The new county government cannot force collaboration, but it can certainly incentivize it and make it more difficult for those who choose to try to operate in silos.


12.  Describe any specific area where you believe it would be beneficial to pool regional resources.


There are a number of areas where the county could establish shared services between communities, including but not limited to:  health insurance, IT services, fire services, communication hardware and sustainable energy strategies.  As a mayor, I have already taken a leadership role in this area.


13.  Please generally describe your position on the issues of regionalism.


I plan to have a regionalism czar to ensure that we are maximizing our opportunities to plan and collaborate on a regional basis.  This region will not suddenly leap to a regional form of government; the county must lead the way in providing platforms of regional services as a first step.


  1. Competence


14.  Have you ever run for public office?  If so, please identify the office and the date of the election.


Yes, I served on Lakewood City Council from 2000-2007 and was then elected Lakewood Mayor.


15.  What public offices have you held?  When?


See above.


16.  Describe your experience in administering or managing an organization, and provide details relating to the size and nature of the organization:


I currently run the second largest suburb in Cuyahoga County, having taken over as mayor at a time of a budgetary crisis.  We have approximately 500 employees and a $100 million budget.  I implemented a data-driven management system called “Citistat” which has been used successfully across the country; I would seek to implement it at the county level as well.

17.  Have you participated in preparing a budget for a business, government organization, or non-profit organization?  If so, please generally describe that experience.


In managing at 20% reduction in Lakewood’s budget, I was able to streamline services and invest in particular priorities which needed attention.



18.  Have you dealt with public finance issues (i.e., predicting tax revenues, bond issuance, etc.) in any prior position?  Describe your experience in public finance.  If such experience is limited, please describe related experience.


See above.


19.  Do you have any experience relating to accounting; if yes, please describe.




20.  Have you ever held a public position in which you held public meetings?  If so, describe that position and your role.


Yes, as mayor and city councilman.


21.  Have you, or any business in which you held more than a 50% interest, ever filed for bankruptcy.  When? Where?




22.  In any prior position, have you developed, implemented or been in charge of enforcing an ethics policy for employees?  If so, please describe.


Yes.  As mayor, I implemented a stringent ethics policy that requires our employees adhere to the highest ethical standards.


23.  Have you ever held a public position where you managed employees who were subject to civil service laws.  When?  Where?


Yes.  My current position as Lakewood Mayor.


24.  Have you ever held a public or private position where you managed employees who were subject to collective bargaining agreement?  When, Where?


Yes.  My current position as Lakewood Mayor.


25.  What philosophy will you follow in appointing leadership positions within county government?


Public service is a privilege and I will seek a broad and deep pool of talented individuals who agree with that value.  Individuals must be hired based on what they know, not who they know.



26.  What steps do you believe county government can take to take advantage of Cuyahoga County’s lake front?


For starters, the county must work strategically with the Port Authority and must have a process for appointments to the board which reflects the overall strategic economic development goals for the region.


27.  What steps do you believe county government can take to promote business development?


I have proposed a Fourth Frontier program, modeled on Ohio’s successful Third Frontier.  This would invest in particular business start-up and expansion.  Additionally, merely having an open door approach and a strategic economic development plan will be an important shift for county government, making it much friendlier to business growth.


28.  In your opinion, what is the single most important thing county government can do to promote economic development?


The single most important thing this county government can do to promote economic development is restore the trust of Cuyahoga County citizens.  The government can accomplish very little without that trust.


29.  Please identify and generally explain your top three public policy goals.


Cleaning up corruption and implementing the most stringent ethics policy for all employees is the first item that must be tackled; retaining and attracting jobs through a strategic economic development plan which is developed with leaders from across the region; and maintaining and improving the quality and efficiency of the health and social services.