Bill Mason returns to county government

(Cleveland) - County Executive Armond Budish announced that he has appointed Bill Mason, formerly Partner in Charge of Bricker and Eckler’s Cleveland Office, as Chief of Staff.

Prior to his leading role at Bricker and Eckler, Mason was the Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney from 1999 to 2012.

“Bill has a longstanding commitment to the county and has been a leader in many aspects of reform that I consider crucial to this county,” said Budish. “He was one of the leaders in getting our new system of government in place and has been a leader in both justice reform and sustainability, both of which are key aspects of my vision for this county.”

Mason chaired the Agency Council for Cuyahoga County Justice System Reform, a county-wide initiative aimed at making the justice system more efficient and effective.

While at Cuyahoga County, Bill created the Community Based Prosecution (CBP) Unit, which is a partnership between the Prosecutor’s Office and local residents. He also created and served as chairman of the statewide Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Mason created a mortgage fraud unit and helped establish the Cuyahoga County Mortgage Fraud Task Force in response to the foreclosure crisis. He worked closely with Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson to create the Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Science Laboratory.

Mason chaired the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, a unit created by Cuyahoga County, for the purpose of exploring the development and implementation of advanced energy technologies in the county. That task force was a driver in bringing the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation to the county.

However, Mason's tenure was not without controversy. A 2008 Cleveland Scene article revealed a number of criminals who donate large sums of money, did so to Mason's political campaigns.

In August, 2009, the Ohio Ethics Commission subpoenaed records from his office related to contracts his office awarded to Qwestcom Graphics, a company co-owned by Mason's business partner.

In December, 2009, a Cuyahoga County Common Peas judge accused Mason of trying to intimidate her decision in the case of a childhood friend of Mason's. On December 30, Mason was the passenger in a car driven by his campaign manager Tom Regas when Regas was pulled over by Seven Hills police and arrested for drunken driving. Seven Hills police inexplicably did not put Mason's name in the report of the incident, though an officer did drive Mason home.

“I look forward to joining the county administration and helping County Executive Budish achieve his vision of a county where people have equal access to justice and opportunity,” said Mason. “The administration’s focus on impacting climate change locally is also very compelling to me. I am excited to become part of the team.”

Mason’s start date is July 15, 2019.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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