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Richmond Heights Mayor Miesha Headen was in hot water this week as citizen anger boiled over at a town hall.
Headen faces a recall election on Sept. 23. Monday night, she hosted a town hall but angered the crowd for censoring questions, making some boo and yell at her.
“This town hall is a sham! Why are we paying for this? Where are the questions? Whose meeting is this?” audience members shouted, according to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Mayor Headen said that she didn’t have enough time for all the questions, so instead she responded to them in writing the next day.
Not everyone in the audience was against the Mayor. Her assistant Ed Busch has remained a strong ally and was the one selecting the questions.
“This was a forum for police, fire and finance,” Busch said. “This was not an ambush attach on the mayor, so any questions that dealt with her were not put forward.”
Headen’s supporters said residents intentionally overreacted because a Northeast Ohio Media Group reporter was in the audience.
“None of this was questioned about the questions until you were here,” resident Linda Adams told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “It was deliberate ploy to make her look bad and make this whole town meeting look bad.”
Supporters have suggested the recall is in reaction to Mayor Headen’s anti-corruption actions. One of the leaders of the recall committee is a former city employee who was fired for purchasing alcohol with city funds.
Headen has held the office for less than a year and was targeted for the recall due to a number of controversial firings and fights with the city council.
On Tuesday, Richmond Heights resident James Dawson asked the state Supreme Court to stop the recall with an injunction.
“Such an illegal and unfair manipulation of the election process would allow the President of Council to become Mayor through the back door, not the front door,” Dawson’s suit says.
The court has yet to make a determination in the case.
In another legal matter, Headen’s opponents claim the town halls she held are illegal:
The Committee to Recall Mayor Headen claims the taxpayer-funded town halls are intended to improve her image ahead of next week’s election. State law says it is illegal to use public money to support “the nomination or election of a candidate for public office . . . or recall of a public official.”
“This was all just a political campaign for her to make herself look good and ignore any questions that had the potential to make her look bad,” said resident Jeremy Kumin.
Kumin wanted to know why Headen claimed in recent campaign literature that the city was the victim of two cyber attacks, yet failed to report the crimes, insinuating she lied to tarnish council and the former administration. His question wasn’t read.
In a robocall, a supporter asked residents to attend the town halls to support Mayor Headen because she has “only been in office for eight months and in that time she’s accomplished several good things.”
The Mayor’s supporters have compared the recall to the popular Netflix series House of Cards, according to another robocall obtained by The Northeast Ohio Media Group.
“House of Cards is a story of an [inaudible] leader who through backdoor shenanigans and the manipulation of an eager, young reporter became executive of the country,” the phone call says. “On Sept. 23 tell David Roche and his cronies enough of their shenanigans and their cheap imitation of a fairly good series. Vote yes to keep Mayor Headen.”
On top of the recall, Mayor Headen is facing another legal battle: her former assistant has sued her and the city for defamation. She claims Headen falsely accused her of using a city car for personal use.
Featured image: Shutterstock.com
Tags: Miesha Headen, Richmond Heights
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