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Cleveland Scene sues Downtown Cleveland Alliance for removing 26 distribution boxes from downtown

Complaint alleges that DCA violated Cleveland Scene's constitutional rights to free speech and due process

CLEVELAND, OHIO - A complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by Euclid Media Group, parent company of local alternative-weekly newspaper Cleveland Scene, alleges that the Downtown Cleveland Alliance violated Scene's constitutional rights when earlier this year it removed 26 Scene distribution boxes from downtown Cleveland's central business district without notifying Scene and without any legitimate justification.

The Complaint alleges that from about January 25 to February 10, 2017, DCA removed 26 of Plaintiff Euclid Media Group's duly licensed distribution boxes for the Scene paper from downtown Cleveland's central business district, amounting to 40% of Scene's boxes in its densest circulation area. DCA retained possession of the Scene boxes for more than two weeks without notifying Scene, and only admitted to having taken them after a Scene representative contacted DCA on a tip from a witness who saw a DCA employee loading one of the boxes into a truck.

Seventh Circuit federal appeals court issues groundbreaking ruling that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit sitting en banc (the entire court) issued a significant decision under Title VII reversing years of circuit precedent. Specifically, in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 15-1720, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5839 (Apr. 4, 2017), the court held that Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination includes a prohibition on sexual-orientation discrimination. In other words, employers who discriminate on the basis of an individual's sexual orientation violate Title VII. This groundbreaking ruling puts the Seventh Circuit at odds with other circuits, including the Sixth (which oversees Ohio), setting up potential Supreme Court review.

In Hively, an openly gay part-time professor filed a Title VII complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against her employer Ivy Tech, after she had sought and been denied full-time positions six times and her part-time contract was not renewed. The EEOC gave her a right-to-sue letter.

Dispatcher's negligence leading to death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice results in "unacceptable" and "pathetic" 8-day suspension

Cleveland, OH - "Unacceptable." That is how Samaria Rice, the bereaved mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, described the mere eight-day suspension Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams gave Constance Hollinger, a police dispatcher, for Hollinger's negligence resulting in Tamir's death from a police shooting on November 22, 2014.

Homeless coalitions petition U.S. Supreme Court to protect voters from disenfranchisement over trivial errors

Cleveland, Ohio - Today, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, joined by the Ohio Democratic Partyfiled a petition for certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their challenge against Ohio voter-suppression laws known as S.B. 205 and 216. The homeless coalitions and ODP are plaintiffs in a long-running voting-rights lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Whistleblower Files First Amendment Lawsuit, Alleging Retaliation for Reporting Safety Violations to the FAA

CLEVELAND, OHIO - Two years after his unceremonious removal from the Field-Maintenance Manager post at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, Mayfield Heights resident Abdul-Malik Ali today filed an amended lawsuit in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Ali, who on February 18, 2015 told the Federal Aviation Administration about how the Airport was systematically failing to meet FAA-mandated staffing levels for its snow-and-ice-removal operations―and who was booted from his job the very next day―claims that there is an undeniable connection between these two events. He seeks reinstatement to his former position as well as economic and non-economic damages caused by the Airport's retaliatory actions.

OSHA determines demotion of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport manager was retaliatory

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has informed the City of Cleveland that OSHA has determined that there is "reasonable cause to believe" that Chandra Law's client Abdul Malik-Ali was demoted in retaliation for reporting unsafe conditions on the runways at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The city has 10 days to respond, and was invited to propose settlement. OSHA's finding follows a $735,000 national-record fine that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed upon the city for the very safety violations that Mr. Ali identified. (That fine was later settled for $200,000―with the FAA not permitting the city to disclaim its responsibility in the settlement agreement.)

AUDIO: Additional whistleblower complaint to the FAA and OSHA reports Cleveland Hopkins International Airport airfield-maintenance manager's recorded threats of further retaliation, "climate of fear"

Cleveland, OH - Secretly recorded audio reveals Cleveland Hopkins International Airport airfield-maintenance manager Robert Henderson on January 19, 2017 excoriating his employees and threatening them with retaliation for whistleblowing safety violations.

Henderson made the threats one day after Chandra Law sent to the FAA and OSHA on behalf of former airfield-maintenance manager Abdul-Malik Ali a complaint regarding additional safety violations. Chandra Law on January 24, 2017 sent an additional complaint and the audio recording to the FAA and OSHA describing the resulting "climate of fear."

RTA pays $45,000 to Lakewood woman assaulted by RTA police officer

Complaint alleged officer arrested and assaulted Plaintiff without probable cause; RTA suspended officer and placed him on probation

CLEVELAND, OHIO - The Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority (RTA) has paid $45,000 to Jessica Ferrato, in settlement of her lawsuit for being unlawfully assaulted by now-former RTA police officer Jonathan Pacholke in March 2015 as she was exiting the Lakewood W 117th Street station. Ferrato sued the RTA and Pacholke in February 2016, alleging claims for U.S. constitutional violations, including for unlawful seizure and excessive force under the Fourth Amendment, and Ohio-law claims for battery and false arrest.

Whistleblower to FAA and OSHA: new, serious safety violations at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport put travelers at risk

Via a letter from Subodh Chandra today, Abdul-Malik Ali, the former airfield maintenance manager at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, has alerted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) to serious safety violations at the airport. The letter states that the violations stem from unqualified staffing at the airport.

The violations caused runways, ramps, and taxiways to be shut down and flights to be diverted, and Mr. Ali believes, represent an ongoing threat to the traveling public.

East Cleveland City School District education board to adopt numerous changes and reimburse $100,000 in fees incurred for board member's suit over extensive open-government violations

The settlement comes two weeks before the board was about to face trial

EAST CLEVELAND, OHIO - Today, the East Cleveland City School District board of education committed to concrete actions to comply with Ohio's open-government laws, correct past violations, and reimburse Dr. Patricia A. Blochowiak, a board member, $100,000 in attorneys' fees and costs incurred in her whistleblower action forcing the board's legal compliance.

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