Updated December 5, 2022 at 6:45 pm
Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist
Update: Mr. Craig Berry called me this evening after this article was published and said that he was misinformed about LFC’s status a part of the media; and he assured us that we would receive email notifications of future Corrections Board meetings. We thank Mr. Berry for correcting the issue.
Please keep in mind when you read this article, that the Lake County Commissioners, the Sheriff, the judges, and the Prosecutor all want the citizens of Lake County to spend $300 million on the largest County construction project in history with a new “Public Safety Center” (formerly known as a jail). They all insist on “trust us, we have your best interests at heart”. However, you will clearly see what happens when a citizen wants transparency.
When elected officials and the appointed bureaucrats act in the best interests of the Lake County citizens, we go out of our way to praise them. When they don’t, we let the citizens know.
A few months ago we uncovered that Mr. Craig Berry, Corrections Officer for the Lake County Adult Probation Office, Mr. Chuck Coulson, Lake County Prosecutor, all the judges and the three Commissioners have been violating the Ohio Sunshine Laws for a very long time. The Corrections Board is a public body, and is subject to the Ohio Open Meeting Act. They must allow citizens to attend the meeting. Here is the Prosecutor pleading a “mea culpa” for all of the Lake County citizens to see and hear.
LFC has been asked by citizens to do some research on the Corrections Board and the entire Lake County judicial system. Voters know virtually nothing about the judges, and never see them in action. It makes it difficult for the voters to know who to vote for at election time.
We decided to take some action by shining some light on the Corrections Board, and the judges. We will be attending future meetings, and will be recording the meetings for the citizens.
Since Lakeland Community College was gracious enough to include us on their public meeting distribution list, we sent the following email to Mr. Berry:
To Mr. Craig Berry, Chief Probation Officer,
We are a 501 (C ) (4) Non-Profit organization that believes transparency in our government is vitally important.
We are requesting that Lobbyists for Citizens be notified when there are public meetings scheduled by the Lake County Corrections Board.
Prosecutor Charles Coulson has publicly stated that the Corrections Board is a public body, and, therefore, per the Ohio Sunshine Laws their meetings must be open to the public.
We will attend the meetings as concerned citizens, and will take video recordings of the meetings for the Lake County residents to view on our website.
Our email address is LobbyistsforCitizens@gmail. com.
My telephone number is (440) 479-7061.
We received the following email in answer to our request to Mr. Berry:
Good Afternoon Mr. Massie,
Lake County Corrections Planning Board Meeting notices are posted in the “Public Notices” section on the Lake County Ohio website, as well as the bulletin board in the entrance of the old Administration Building located at 105 Main Street in Painesville. There will also be a notice in the News Herald. As of now there are no upcoming Lake County Corrections Planning Board Meetings scheduled.
Lake County Adult Probation
104 East Erie St.
Painesville, OH 44077
Note to Mr. Craig Berry:
The message is not a good look for the Corrections Board.
If you believe that we will just go away, you are badly mistaken. You, like so many other Lake County officials, underestimate us. We never give up, we never give in. We will continue to report the truth, and expose the lies, deceptions and betrayals to all citizens of Lake County.
Expect me at the next Corrections Board meeting with my camera at the ready.
And by the way, that new jail that you and your compatriots are contemplating building, we expect that the path to victory just got a lot longer and tougher thanks to your lack of concern for Lake County citizens.
Lobbyists for Citizens