Patrick O’Malley resigns over porn scandal, but rampant patronage was fine

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Politicians can be corrupt as they want in Ohio -- as long as they avoid sex scandals
It’s always fun to see what merits a crime in the political world. In Cuyahoga County, incompetence and patronage have never been enough to get someone booted from office. But computer porn? That’s a different story. Witness today’s tale of County Recorder Pat O’Malley’s resignation. Two years ago, Scene wrote an article detailing the Friends and Family Plan in O’Malley’s office. With 88 employees, it was the largest office of its kind in the state --and it was filled with politically-connected people in questionable jobs. The Plain Dealer recently followed up with a similar story. Brooklyn Mayor Ken Patton’s son and state Rep. Kenny Yuko’s daughter were both office clerks, and the brother of Bedford Clerk of Courts Tom Day was a supervisor of record management, raking in $52,700 a year… But none of this raised an eyebrow with county prosecutor Bill Mason – who’s always been allergic to prosecuting white collar crime, especially of the Democratic Party variety. He has a penchant for nepotism himself, and also happens to be O’Malley’s college roommate. Today, federal prosecutors finally nabbed O’Malley for an entirely different crime: using his computer to transmit obscene pictures and other material. He pleaded guilty in an Akron federal courtroom this afternoon. Granted, computer porn certainly makes for better headlines than costly nepotism. It’s why The Plain Dealer treats Marc Dann’s sex scandal with headlines worthy of World War III, but has largely given a pass to Jimmy Dimora, whose incompetence and corruption costs the county tens of millions a year. But in a broke county that keeps hemorrhaging population, shouldn’t they both be considered a crime? –Lisa Rab

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