South Euclid, OH - A state court of appeals, for now, is keeping a South Euclid Judge from putting the city's police chief in jail for his decision to not report to the judge every week about the issuance of information cards. For a while, South Euclid Police would hand out cards for residents to contact the Ohio Supreme Court since it was hard to get in touch with employees of the South Euclid Municipal Court. The city's new Chief of Police, Joe Mays, has ended it.
South Euclid Judge Gayle Williams-Byers insisted Mays report to her weekly to ensure cards were not being handed out to defendants, and his failure to show up has resulted in her attempt to jail him. She has sentenced Mays to spend 10 weekend days in jail and to pay a $1,000 fine in the donation to the Ohio Innocence Project if he doesn't send the judge the weekly reports. Mays' attorney, Kevin Spellacy, says "it's an illegal breach of the separation of powers because Mays reports to South Euclid Mayor Georgina Welo."
The Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals has granted Spellacy's emergency motion to prevent Williams-Byers from jailing Mays. Williams-Byers has defended her ruling by saying some of the residents went to the police department to pay fines and were encouraged to contact the Ohio Supreme Court. She has accused Welo's admission of not respecting the first African American judge in South Euclid. She says, "this is the most racist place in Cuyahoga County."
The court has not scheduled a hearing yet.
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