Written By: Ishton W. Morton – March 8th, 2019
According to Cincinnati Councilman Wendell Young’s attorney Scott Croswell; Young did not destroy text messages on his cell-phone after Judge Robert Ruehlman ordered in October that they be released to lawyers suing the city, even though the city agreed to pay a $10,000 fine because of their destruction.
Subsequently, Young may have destroyed the destroy text messages on his cell-phone just before Judge Robert Ruehlman ordered in October. His lawyer is not saying his client did not destroy the text messages it is just a matter of when.
On Thursday Attorney Scott Croswell seems to be arguing with the judge during hearing at the time Ruehlman approved a settlement agreement between the City and Mark Miller. Apparently, Croswell attempts to argue with Judge Robert Ruehlman did not helped his case.
As an alternative, Ruehlman scheduled an April 1st, 2019 hearing on Young’s contempt of court for the deletions of his text messages.
Miller is referenced as the conservative activist who brought legal action against the city and five council members for violating the state’s open meetings laws by having conversations about city business over text messages. Also, the city paid a $1,000 fine because Young and council members P.G. Sittenfeld, Greg Landsman, Chris Seelbach and Tamaya Dennard violated the open meetings law and $90,000 in attorney’s fees.
Cincinnati’s self-proclaimed “Gang of Five” turned over text messages exchanged between them as part of the agreed order issued today in our litigation to expose the secret communications between the majority of the Cincinnati City Council.
Read the text messages below or online here.
Pursuant to this case City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething declined to comment as she left the courthouse. The funds for the settlement will come out of the city’s judgments fund, a regular line item in the budget that the administration can use without council approval to settle legal cases.
Accordingly, after the hearing, Croswell told reporters that there is scientific analysis from the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office showing Young, a former police officer and teacher, did not delete texts after the court instructed him not to do so.
Croswell continued to say; “That’s the important thing to take away, Mr. Young has been subjected to the allegation that he has been in contempt of court or that he perhaps committed some type of criminal offense by deleting these texts. The realities are once the evidence has been established; he did not violate the law. Anything that was removed from his phone was removed in the course of his daily business well before the matter heated up or well before the case came before Judge Ruehlman.” The bottom line the man cannot be trusted.
Meanwhile, reportedly Business Courier in an interview with the Hamilton County Prosecutor seems to be suggesting that Joe Deters said his office told Croswell that “we don’t know when they were deleted.”
Also, Croswell declined to address why the city paid Miller $10,000 for Young’s deleted texts in light of the information Croswell disclosed on Thursday.
Subsequently, the attitude of these council-members was outrageously poor. And so was Croswell who said; “Why the city settled the case or how they settled the case is of no concern to me. I was here to represent Wendell personally on the allegations that he was in contempt of court or that he had committed a criminal offense, neither of which he did.”
Nevertheless, the city solicitor’s office disclosed to Miller’s attorney Brian Shrive in November that Young had deleted texts, and neither has ever provided any context about circumstances or even the date of the deletions.
Ironically, according to Deters; it will not be a matter of whether the texts were deleted before or after Ruehlman’s October order, at least when it comes to whether Young is prosecuted for tampering with evidence.”
Deters added; If an official proceeding is ongoing, you can’t do what he did. If he knew one (a lawsuit) was going to be filed, you can’t do what he did.”
Deters continue to say; he is going to wait to see what Ruehlman does on April 1 before deciding on his office’s actions.
When asked if whether Young has offered an explanation to the prosecutor’s office about the deleted texts, Deters said he has not.
However, when Croswell was asked why Young deleted the texts, he said, “Why do you delete your text messages? Because your phone is full. And because you want to get additional space. His text messages off of his phone were deleted after the text string (between the five council members) had become published. So everything on his telephone had been published … so there was no reason for him to believe that he was obstructing in any way, shape or form the orderly administration of justice.” Thusly, these are his dim-witted justification. He should have kept his mouth shut!!!