Council President Sam O’Leary Threatens to Defy Will of Lakewood Voters

For Immediate Release —

In an astonishing statement, Lakewood City Council President Sam O’Leary has said that he will support actions that would not allow the will of Lakewood voters to be carried out. Referring to Issue 64, O’Leary stated that if a majority votes against the ordinance that closed Lakewood Hospital, it will not reverse the deal.

If an “Against” vote by citizens carries the day on Tuesday, council’s new agreement will be thrown out, and the original agreement by which the Cleveland Clinic is obligated to follow through on 10 remaining years of its lease would have force once more.

O’Leary uses an Ohio Supreme Court ruling (Middletown v Ferguson) to justify his contrary scenario. The two circumstances are dramatically different, most prominently in that the Middletown case did not feature an illegal noncompete clause and an unethical bid-steering process, as does the master agreement that O’Leary and his fellow elected officials agreed to with the Clinic.

As has been shown by documents unearthed in an ongoing taxpayer lawsuit, city officials sold over $100 million of public assets to the Clinic for a mere $9.6 million. The $34 million construction of the “Family Health Center,” that the Clinic will own, is being built with public money obtained in the lopsided deal.

The list of deceptions by O’Leary and his fellow elected officials is long. Recently O’Leary touted a “Mobile Stroke Unit” that would provide lifesaving care at the doorstep of stroke victims in Lakewood. Yet for Marjorie Harris of Lakewood, the mobile unit was nowhere to be found after a 911 call upon the onset of her recent stroke.

O’Leary also has stated that the “Family Health Center” will guarantee 21st-century healthcare into the future for Lakewood. Yet as Betsy Voinovich (the daughter of the late governor) points out in this article, the Clinic can close the Family Health Center and attached “emergency department” at any time.

For more proof of the deliberate misinformation and related unethical conduct of city officials, refer to the series “Bad Government” written by Brian Essi, a lawyer and Lakewood Resident. To put it lightly, O’Leary and his fellow elected officials at city hall have a tortured relationship with the truth.

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Kevin Young
Media Relations
Save Lakewood Hospital
216-344-0743