Cuyahoga Co. Sheriff Gerald McFaul deputized son so he can carry a firearm; Refused to issue CHLs to constituents
By Chad D. Baus
The list of abuses of power by city and county officials in Cleveland is long and distinguished - so much so that each individual report barely raises eyebrows anymore.
For example, 23 years after telling an employee (whom he was dating) how to avoid a subpoena so she wouldn't have to testify against him in a sexual harassment suit, Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul is finally being investigated, and could face criminal charges.
McFaul has been under fire since the beginning of the year over questions of improper fund-raising activities, including having deputies sell tickets for his fund-raisers while on county time, and for doing special favors for friends and relatives. In fact, a recent Cleveland Plain Dealer report about charges of nepotism concerning the anti-concealed carry Sheriff highlights the law man's hypocrisy on guns.
From the Plain Dealer:
Sheriff Gerald McFaul Sr. made his son a special deputy in 1998 so the younger McFaul could get part-time security work while wearing a Cuyahoga County sheriff's uniform.
Gerald McFaul Jr. completed a police academy and state certification test at Cuyahoga Community College in December 1997 but did not immediately land a police job.
"He was looking for a job," McFaul Sr. said Friday.
So the sheriff made him a special deputy in February 1998 and McFaul Jr. was hired by Tenable Protective Services to work private security jobs approved by the Sheriff's Office.
Five months later, McFaul Jr. became a part-time ranger for the Cleveland Metroparks. But that wasn't the end of his time in a deputy's uniform, even though he doesn't work for the sheriff. McFaul Jr. still wears the deputy's uniform while performing security work. His ranger position does not allow him to enforce laws outside the park district.
When asked about the appearance of impropriety, sheriffs in Northeast Ohio and across the state told the newspaper they would not make relatives special deputies. Several went on to say they interpreted the attorney general's rulings to prohibit police officers from holding two commissions in the same county.
Sheriff McFaul defended charges of nepotism, claiming that he has made "hundreds and hundreds" of people special deputies in his 32 years as sheriff (records show he has appointed 102 special deputies since 1972).
While Plain Dealer reporter Mark Puente focuses his story on the legal aspects of McFaul's actions, contained in the story is a fact that exposes McFaul's hypocrisy on guns:
McFaul Sr. said his son had the state certification to be a police officer but needed permission to carry a weapon, so he deputized him.
That's right - anti-gun Sheriff Gerald McFaul, who in 2004 had to be sued by Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine before he would do his job and begin issuing Ohio concealed handgun licenses, deputized his son so that he could get a job (which he couldn't otherwise have obtained) while carrying a firearm (which he couldn't otherwise have carried).
Once again, from the Plain Dealer:
McFaul Sr., currently the third-longest-serving sheriff in Ohio, came under fire earlier this month for giving raises to seven people -- including his niece, his son's best friend and a good friend -- after laying off 18 deputies and three other workers. The layoffs were part of an effort to cut his budget by more than $4 million as part of the effort to plug a $55 million gap in the county budget.
He also gave a $15,000 raise to his chief of staff, Patricia Kresty, to boost her pay last year to $131,000.
His niece resigned days later after the newspaper learned she broke rules by working as a security guard while she was on leave for an injury.
In addition to exposing Sheriff McFaul for the corrupt hypocrite that he is, the Plain Dealer story also draws new attention to efforts to change a 1976 city ordinance which states that security guards can only carry revolvers. A proposed new policy states that security guards cannot carry a firearm greater than a 9mm, which is the standard caliber carried by Cleveland police officers. Also, the law would no longer specify the firearm be a revolver, so a high-capacity semi-automatic could be carried.
Sheriff Gerald McFaul has long-since proven that he is unfit to serve the citizens of Cuyahoga County. This latest example just proves that has been the case for more than 20 years.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.