Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson today announced that an investigation led by Cleveland Police resulted in the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury issuing a felony indictment on Monday, August 26, 2013 against William C. Daniels, III on one count of open dumping (ORC 3734.03). Mr. Daniels is accused of operating an illegal dump at 275 E. 131st Street in Cleveland.
“The City of Cleveland is out there every day cleaning up the mess caused by those who completely disrespect the people of Cleveland,” said Mayor Jackson. “Illegal dumping will not be tolerated in the city, and this particular case demonstrates that.”
This case represents the first time that the Jackson Administration has used the state’s felony open dumping law to address the problem of illegal dumping and moving forward, the City of Cleveland will seek felony indictments to hold illegal dumpers accountable for their actions whenever possible. The City will also continue to take aggressive code enforcement action against illegal dumping.
The penalties for a felony open dumping conviction are severe. “If convicted the accused faces a minimum of two years in jail and a minimum $10,000 fine,” stated 5th District Police Commander Dornat Drummond. “The maximum penalties are four years in jail and a $25,000 fine.”
Fighting illegal dumping presents challenges, in large part because catching illegal dumpers in action, can be extremely difficult. But, in the case of 275 E. 131, a tip from a concerned community member to the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) helped launch the Cleveland Police investigation.
The bottom-line is that we need your help in catching these criminals and seeking out the maximum possible punishment. If you see illegal dumping happening in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 and the information will get into the right hands,” said Public Safety Director Martin L. Flask.
In addition to the felony case, the City is continuing to follow up on civil action initiated by the original complaint. CDPH issued two tickets for violations of the City’s health code. The tickets were issued to the property owners, 275 E. 131st Group and agent Jonathan Blakely. They are due in Cleveland Housing Court on September 4, 2013. Additionally, the Department of Building & Housing issued four violation notices – two notices of illegal building use, one stop work order and a condemnation notice for the main structure at 275 E. 131st.
Below are photos taken from the illegal dump site at 275 E. 131st.