Allegations: An Ohio Judge Rigged Foreclosures

Allegations: An Ohio Judge Rigged Foreclosures

Allegations: An Ohio Judge Rigged Foreclosures

Frank Russo charges suggest he corrupted county judges

Published: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 6:10 PM     Updated: Thursday, September 09, 2010, 9:09 PM

Leila Atassi, The Plain Dealer Leila Atassi, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The charges filed Thursday against Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo offer the most detailed description yet of the suspected corrupt activities of two Common Pleas Judges — one of whom is seeking re-election.


In exchange for his help, Russo wanted control over the outcome of certain [of Terry’s ] civil cases, according to the charges. The docket Terry inherited included numerous civil foreclosure cases involving Russo’s close friend O’Malley, who was representing one of the litigants. American Home Bank was seeking $190,000 in damages from O’Malley’s client.

O’Malley called upon Russo to wield his influence over Terry and convince the judge to deny motions for summary judgment in the case to force it to a settlement.

According to the charges, Russo called Terry in July 2008 and asked, “Did (a county employee) give you the case numbers? … I talked to you about this once before … it’s about denying the motions for summary judgment.”

Yep, I still have the note you gave me,” Terry replied.

“Okay, good, so deny the motions for summary judgment, okay, good. …I just wanted to touch base with you on that,” Russo said.

The following day, Terry reported to Russo that he had followed through on his promise.

I called just to tell you that I took care of those two issues with those two cases that we talked about. … Denied everything.”

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