Naji's been slapped with "sale of liquor without a permit" (because giving away alcohol to attendees at art events constitutes a sale in wacky Ohio) and "keeping a place" (which sounds like local prosecutors are rolling out hip-hop tags or something). He'll be arraigned June 24.
All along, Naji has said that he's been told by city leaders that everything is copacetic. Following the state liquor agents’ raid that prompted the above charges, he was assured that all would be well going forward. BOOM - and then the Cleveland Fire Department dropped in on a May 23 event and shut his gallery down for lack of an occupancy permit. He's in the process of obtaining all necessary permits from the city of Cleveland, and Councilman Joe Cimperman has publicly said that he's been "working with" Naji.
Since literally no one from the city can string together a coherent statement on this matter, one thing remains clear: The cognitive dissonance between the local arts community and City Hall remains damning and depressing for a city struggling to appear cool.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.