Junior Dimoras provide mini-corruption in Seven Hills


Mayor Bentkowski enjoys dressing up like Superman. His position on Tonka trucks is unknown.
The gleeful weirdoes who run Seven Hills are just as corrupt and inept as the politicians in Cleveland. But because Seven Hills has a population of roughly 48, and its politicians are paid nominal salaries, its actually kind of adorable when they do their best to emulate the Jimmy Dimoras of the world. Meet David Bentkowski, the 35-year-old mayor who until a few years ago still shacked with his parents and is known to periodically don Superman tights. Bentkowski, whose personal website mostly consists of photos of him posing with such soul-sucking celebrities as Nick Lachey, Laura Bush, and Omarosa from The Apprentice, may seem to possess the cunning of a pet store clerk. But last week, Bentkowski proved that he’s learning the fundamentals, if a bit clumsily… Joe Tripi, Jr. was a Seven Hills councilman when he co-sponsored legislation -- with the mayor’s hearty blessing -- to create a new director of human resources position for the city. The new post would pay $50,000 per year — worlds more than the part-time Council pay of $4,000. Perhaps you see where this is going. Immediately after the position was created, Tripi resigned from his Council seat and was hired by Bentkowski to fill the HR position. The red bow on top of Bentkowski’s occupational gift basket: Tripi’s father, Joe Sr., was then appointed by Council to fill his son’s vacated seat. The glaring problem with the crony-tastic maneuvering was that it wasn’t nearly sneaky enough. After it became obvious that Tripi’s appointment violated Ohio law — you can’t take a position that was created when you were on Council — he was forced to resign from his second post in a week. The potential fall-out has the Council nervous. Case in point: Frank Petro is a sworn enemy of Mayor Bentkowski. But Council is implicated in the scam as well. So Petro treads carefully when asked to explain the appointment, gingerly shifting blame to the “administration” — also known as Supermayor. “The administration should have had all the facts in order before it got to us,” says Petro. “I believe it was an oversight. We just happen to know Joe. We think Joe’s qualified. Why not?” Neither of the Tripis, nor the blue-tighted mayor, returned repeated calls for comment. – Gus Garcia Editor's note, correction: In the above item, we erroneously wrote that “Joe Tripi, Jr. was a Seven Hills councilman when he co-sponsored legislation -- with the mayor’s hearty blessing -- to create a new director of human resources position for the city.” We were wrong. After speaking further with Councilman Petro, it turns out Mayor Bentkowski was against the position until it had already passed legislation. That’s when he gave it his blessing.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.