[image-1] Cleveland.com's Mark Naymik has written a scathing series of articles
on Ward 4 Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson and the controversial use of federal community development dollars in Buckeye-Shaker.
Among the more bizarre tidbits unearthed by Naymik's reporting was the fact that several city-owned vehicles are used exclusively by the Buckeye-Shaker Development Corporation (Johnson's pet CDC) and all bear the councilman's name: "Compliments of Ken Johnson," the six vehicles say.
But the vehicles, Naymik has confirmed, were all purchased with city dollars. (Not out of Johnson's pocket, as the councilman told the reporter. Johnson said he was authorized to use the vehicles that he did not personally pay for by Mayor George Voinovich ... back in the eighties.
Cleveland's COO Darnell Brown said that he intends to send a crew to paint over the six vehicles that bear Johnson's name.
Johnson has been a city councilman since 1980. And his questionable behavior has long been an open secret. (In our 2017 election coverage
, Johnson's challenger in Ward 4, Gail Sparks, said that the incumbent was exploiting seniors and "holding them captive." He sent out messages that if he were defeated, all programs designed to help seniors — snow removal and grass cutting, namely — "by law, must end.")
Naymik has tracked other behaviors — including Johnson's relationship with the Buckeye Shaker CDC — that should continue to give residents pause.