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Published: Tuesday, 3/26/2013

Dismissal of McCloskey case stands

BLADE STAFF

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday denied a petition to hear an appeal of the civil bribery case involving former Toledo City Councilman Bob McCloskey.

In September, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released an opinion affirming the lower court’s decision to dismiss.

The appellate court noted that pending issues previously barring it from considering the appeal had been resolved in the lower court. It then issued a 25-page opinion agreeing with U.S. District Judge James Carr’s decision to dismiss the case against both the city of Toledo and McCloskey.

McCloskey was criminally charged in both state and federal courts on bribery charges and served about 20 months of a 27-month federal prison sentence. He was released in May, 2008.

EJS Properties LLC sued the city and McCloskey in 2004, alleging the city violated constitutional rights to property, liberty, and due process when it denied EJS’s application for rezoning in East Toledo in 2002.

The Michigan company planned to buy part of the former Pilkington PLC technical research center complex and lease it to a charter school. It said the rezoning application was defeated because then-Councilman McCloskey didn’t get a $100,000 payment he demanded, and council followed his lead. The money was to be for a Pilkington retiree prescription fund.

The city denied that council acted under McCloskey’s influence and contended the rezoning decision was based on valid reasons.

Judge Carr dismissed the city from the $10 million civil case in August, 2009, and dismissed the federal claims against McCloskey. The judge had decided previously the state claims could proceed against the former councilman, but EJS since has dismissed those issues.

Toledo Law Director Adam Loukx said he was pleased the case was finally over after nearly a decade.

“It looks like closure on this after many years,” he said.



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