In response to "Tangled Up in Blue, by Jacqueline Marino, in the May 11 issue of Scene:
I was the attorney who represented Sgt. [Gerald] Goode in the defamation action brought against Gabriella D. Kaplan, M.D., following her false allegations of brutality by him. The prior incidents of alleged misconduct became the focal point of pretrial discovery and the trial itself, as Dr. Kaplan's attorneys attempted to paint Sgt. Goode as prone to overreaction.
Testimony from Sgt. Goode's witnesses, including former chief Edward P. Kovacic and current chief Martin Flask (Goode's former Third District Commander) indicated that, despite such complaints being ruled unfounded save for two reprimands, there had been pressure from Mayor Michael White to terminate or suspend Goode on at least one occasion. Such action was ruled out by Chief Kovacic, who compellingly testified that Gerry Goode was one of the finest officers under his command and one with whom he himself would go through any door in the city.
Reflecting on the circumstances of Sgt. Goode's death and your publication's excellent story on the same: It is ironic that the Mayor's onetime whipping boy would unwillingly be compelled to be his point man in a tête-à-tête with the Cleveland Police Department. Sadly, it is not surprising that, once used up, he and his memory would be cast aside by an administration that did not even bother to appear at his memorial service.
James J. McGrath, Esq.
via the Internet
A Neighborly Salute to Goode
The neighbors of Gerry Goode, the police officer who was the subject of "Tangled Up in Blue," read the article with great interest. Sixteen of us attended his funeral service; we could not understand why our friend and neighbor would take his own life. We did not have an opportunity at that time to express our sincere appreciation for his helpfulness and concern for others, and the friendship we all felt for Gerry.
When a neighbor needed help setting up for a daughter's graduation party, Gerry was there. When an elderly neighbor had gutters overflowing with leaves and twigs, Gerry asked and was permitted to clean them out -- for free. Gerry was the instigator of our first block party, getting a committee together to execute this "getting to know you" party. He was always on the lookout if someone was on vacation, for a friendly conversation with a widow, for a game of catch with a neighbor boy. I'm sure there are many other good deeds that others did not know about.
I only hope he knew how much we all liked him as a neighbor and friend to all. We all miss you, Gerry, and will never forget you. You were a part of all our lives.
Nancy Rozell and neighbors
Gays Just Like to Eat Out
Regarding your "Side Dish" column ["Gay Dining Options Bottom Out," May 18]: While I respect Buck Harris very highly, why would someone possibly market a restaurant as "a safe and comfortable place for gay men and lesbians and their friends"? As a gay man, I understand the concept, but in a way, it seems very strange. A restaurant is a place to eat. Nothing more and nothing less. Unless people were having sex on the tables, who would possibly care, as long as the salad is good? I do not see other restaurants saying, "Hey! It's black night!", "Come on in if you are Hispanic!", or "Lesbians EAT FREE!!" The gay and lesbian community of Cleveland has always been very diversified. Black, white, male, female, top, bottom, etc. Possibly if the food would have been better, it may have lasted longer. Some of us gay guys actually go to a restaurant to have a decent meal.
Randy Sindelar Corturillo
Your Top Source for Old News
Kent State? Kent State? If I wanted to hear such a well-worn and overanalyzed story ["Bloody Monday," May 4], I would have turned on the evening news. I would let Adam Shapiro or Denise Dufala giggle their way through, then cut to the Wahoo forecast. I feel so lost. Scene has been my last refuge for information in this city. I could turn to The Downtown Tab for silly Oscar picks, Cleveland magazine for fluff spring health and beauty tips, the wannabe Voice, Free Times to tell me what is happening in Cleveland's Village (i.e., according to Michael Stanley, Arabica), or the senile Plain Dealer for one-sided daily Springer-esque "Final Thoughts." I feel for the families of the four dead. I know that this is an important part of Ohio history. Yet this story has been strung out for years, and there is nothing new to say. Please, get off of the Ferris wheel and get onto the fairway.
Matthew J. Franks