Dale Mallory claims the cancelled check is a fake!
From CityBeat and Kevin Osborne:
Exonerated -- Sort of
Dale Mallory is being garnished but not prosecuted
By Kevin Osborne
Even after the case has been closed, a seven-month long criminal investigation of State Rep. Dale Mallory that involved local police and the FBI continues to raise more troubling questions than it answered.
When Mallory, the brother of Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, was campaigning for the 32nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives last fall, he didn't mention in his rare public appearances that he was the subject of an investigation about alleged wrongdoing at the West End Community Council (see "Dale's
Deals," issue of Oct. 11-17, 2006).
In fact, Mallory's supporters disputed claims that he was the target of a criminal investigation by the Cincinnati Police Department, despite residents who made the complaint, stepping forward and acknowledging it, adding that officers had interviewed them as part of the probe.
Dale Mallory’s supporters denied that he was a target of a criminal investigation, and they were almost correct on that. It is hard to call what the Cincinnati Police conducted a criminal investigation.
“Later, in mid-January, when CityBeat inquired about the investigation's progress more than six months after it had begun, the newspaper was told it was a "complex" matter, with a police spokesman adding that detectives "couldn't even give me estimation on when they'll be bringing that to a resolution."
But police documents recently obtained by CityBeat after a public records request indicate the investigation already was completed at the time and had been turned over to the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, which already had declined prosecution Jan. 6. The Police Department formally closed the case Feb. 7.
Isn’t that just classic. It was a “very complex matter” that merited a whole 2 page incident closure report once they got a hold of the public records. The CPD told CityBeat they were still investigating and they couldn’t foresee when the investigation would end. The reality brought to light by the public documents is that they weren’t investigating the crime, and that they never really had been.
“If the fact that the case was closed four months ago is news to the public and CityBeat, however, it's more surprising to Dale Mallory. Now serving as a state lawmaker in Columbus, Mallory said he hadn't been notified the matter was dropped when the newspaper interviewed him by telephone June 14.
"I hadn't heard," Mallory says. "It'd be nice if I got a letter."
I agree with Dale here, it would be nice. I think the letter would look something like this…
Just wanted to let you know that your family’s powerful political connections completely thwarted and shut down a police investigation. You can feel free to deny you ever wrote the check like a buffoon, it doesn’t even matter what you say at this point.
Your Friends in High Places
Begun in June 2006, the police investigation was part of a tumultuous year for Mallory that also saw his impeachment as president of the West End Community Council and revelations about his secret lobbying for a controversial project proposed for the neighborhood.
In May 2006, Mallory wrote checks totaling $1,119 that emptied the West End Community Council's bank account, more than three months after his impeachment and a few weeks after his lawsuit seeking reinstatement was dropped. Mallory had said the money was for an arts program at the YMCA the council authorized in February 2006, but group leaders said no vote was ever taken and alleged Mallory's act was retaliation for his ouster.
The community council filed a complaint in June 2006 with Cincinnati Police that alleged embezzlement against Mallory and Esther Williams, a Mallory friend who was the group's former treasurer and also was ousted.
Dale Mallory was impeached and removed from office in February of 2006. He filed two separate lawsuits in a bid to get reinstated. Both lawsuits were filed by crackhead Kenny Lawson, which explains why they read like they were written by a third grader.
One lawsuit was thrown out of court because it had no merit. In the other lawsuit Dale refused to be deposed and decided to drop the case instead. He wasn’t about to answer any questions on the record.
In dropping the case in late April, Dale stated in court documents that he “has no intent of remaining President of the West End Community Council” and that he was “respectfully dismissing this matter without prejudice”
Then in May, (months after being removed and weeks after dropping the case), Dale Mallory walked into the bank and closed down and shut down the West End Community Council bank account. He took every red penny, and the account was officially closed. The check was made out to cash, and this is a copy of that check.
He had no authority to close down the account and withdraw all the money, he had already admitted as much to the court. The bank had eyewitness accounts from the manager and the teller who handled the transaction that day. If you do that and your last name isn’t Mallory it is a felony. It appeared to be an open and shut case. It turned out to never be really opened in the first place.
Whether the department notified Mallory about the probe's conclusion -- and if not, why -- is just one question left lingering in the case.
CityBeat made the public records request to the police department earlier this month. A week later the newspaper received 14 pages of documents. They include a two-page incident closure report and 12 pages of photocopies, mostly of cancelled checks.
The police department spent almost a year on the investigation, including a period when it handed the probe to the FBI for a while to avoid a possible conflict of interest because the mayor's brother was involved. Ultimately, the FBI concluded the allegations didn't involve enough money to merit their involvement and handed the case back to police.
Based on police documents, CityBeat calculates the investigation took about 233 days to complete.
West End residents who filed the complaint that sparked the investigation believe police purposely delayed the inquiry because it involved the mayor's brother and didn't want the publicity before last November's election, when Dale Mallory was a candidate.
"It was a fairly straightforward matter that should have been an open and shut case," says Dave Petersen, a West End Community Council member.
233 days for two pages of documents and some copies of some cancelled checks? They were never really investigating this case. In case you didn’t know, the Mayor’s brother is well connected. Though unemployed, heavily in debt, and unable to ever hold a steady job, Dale Mallory is now a State Representative. It was always going to be that way, and the Mallory political machine would accept no other outcome. Dale is in the family seat.
Petersen and some of the community council's officers also question whether all police records were released. They each were interviewed by police during sessions that were tape-recorded.
"There had to be six to eight hours of interviews that I am personally aware of," Petersen says. "The documents seem grossly understated for an investigation that went on for so long. The depth of skullduggery goes far deeper than a two-page report."
CityBeat e-mailed follow-up questions to the police department's public information office to verify that the documents are complete and ask whether any interview transcripts exist. A police spokeswoman forwarded the request to Lt. Col. Richard Janke, the department's second highest-ranking officer after the chief. Janke hasn't yet responded.
People were interviewed across the West End. The bank manager and the teller were interviewed, and they could put Dale on the scene closing down the account. Several members of the West End Community Council were interviewed.
Those interviews were merely to placate and pacify the angered members of the WECC, which had filed a complaint against Dale Mallory for closing down the bank account and withdrawing all of the money. According to CityBeat’s reporting, no records of those interviews exist.
In fact, no record seems to exist of why the crime was ever referred to the FBI for investigation. This was $1,119.19 from a Community Council’s bank account. It is debatable if it was even the FBI’s jurisdiction. With that dollar amount, it was never going to be a Federal case. The CPD had to know that.
Said again, high ranking people in the CPD work with federal agents all the time. They know them and have working relationships. They had to know after two minutes that this wasn’t a Federal case. But it was a good way to toss the potato and buy some time. And time is all that they were looking for.
Before referring a case to the Feds, you would think there would be some sort of paper trail explaining the rationale. According to Kevin Osborne’s record request, there was nothing.
People of the West End demanded a response to the complaint that they filed. Dale Mallory cleaned out and closed down the WECC bank account long after even he admitted he was no longer the WECC President. And nobody had a suitable explanation for that action, or any explanation at all for that matter.
The police couldn’t explain it or politically afford to prosecute it, so they started interviewing anyone that wanted to speak. They came in, held their hands and talked them through their pain like a good therapist. No records of those interviews exist. Those interviews weren’t a part of any concerted investigation. They were just an appeasement measure to keep people quite and buy time until after the election.
This investigation employed a slow-bleed strategy for 233 days until it was finally concluded. Even after they had stopped investigating they still didn’t admit it until a public records request. It is pathetic.
And where were the court documents in the public record request? Dale Mallory stated to the court that he was no longer the WECC President. This is before he withdrew all of the money. That was a critical piece of evidence in the case. It was given to the police more than once, and mentioned in all of those interviews. If the police have no record of that information, I doubt that they passed it on to the prosecutors.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor's office questions whether it should have received the case in the first place.
"Our office concluded it was civil in nature, not criminal," says Jennifer Irey, a prosecutor's office spokeswoman.
I am not sure what to believe. I can’t ascertain that the prosecutor’s office indeed got all of the evidence, including statements made by Dale Mallory to the court admitting that he was no longer WECC President. If all the police gave the prosecutors was a couple of pages and some copies of cancelled checks, it doesn’t surprise me that nothing happened. A slow bleed strategy to die a slow death.
Prosecutors can only go off of the evidence that they have.
Mallory says he acted within the scope of his authority involving the community council's money. Regardless, he alleges that the copy of a cancelled check for $1,119.19 signed by Mallory that Petersen and others gave to police was a forgery.
"That thing was counterfeit, forged, faked," Mallory says. "I have no idea where they got that from. I commend the police department for doing a professional job. ... It was a waste of the police department's time."
Police records, though, dispute Mallory's claim. The report states, "Both Dale Mallory and Esther Williams went to the National City Bank and withdrew all funds from the WECC account. They used a counter check signed by both of them, made payable to cash, then obtained a cashier's check."
Of the money that Mallory distributed, $1,000 went to the YMCA to assist a West End art project, and $119.19 went to Marquicia Jones-Woods to buy boots for a local drill team. The YMCA returned its money, but the amount given to Jones-Wood already was spent, the report states.
Dale contends that the check he used to clean out and close down the WECC bank account is a forgery and a fake. I have to wonder if any sane person exists that believes Dale Mallory. That is some funny stuff.
The bank teller and the manager of the bank who handled the transaction of closing down the account both identified Dale Mallory. They produced copies of the checks and gave eyewitness accounts of what happened.
They identified Dale as the one who got the cashier’s check. This is the same check Dale then presented in person to the YMCA. The head of the YMCA can identify Dale as well. Is it all some conspiracy? Is Dale really that stupid? Is it any wonder they didn’t let him out of the house to make public appearances on the campaign trail?
Dale had previously said publicly that the money for the YMCA was authorized in February. That sounded good until people figured out that February was the month that he was impeached. The Mayor, reporters and news cameras were at the meeting and the WECC had the whole thing on tape. With Dale it is one lie after another and each one more pathetically stupid. I couldn't make that stuff up if I tried.
But who is really laughing? Dale Mallory did get away with it. He can deny he wrote that check and act like it never happened. He should join the CPD; they are acting the same way in regards to investigating his crime.
"They continued to push for an investigation even after they got the money back," Mallory says. "I guess they weren't accustomed to community politics and don't support the arts project."
I guess if you rob a bank and give the money back it is OK. And Dale didn’t give the money back, the YMCA did. Dale was thrown out of office and he took every penny of the bank account with him. Since people worked hard to recover most (not all) of it, he thinks everything is fine.
West End Community Council members defend their complaint. The group is considering filing a lawsuit against Mallory and is reviewing how the community council's money was spent from 2001-05, when he was president. Records are sparse, they add, and it's difficult to track and account for the funds.
"It's not a big number, but the money is important to the neighborhood," Petersen says.
Police didn't aggressively pursue the matter, he says.
It should be noted that it is hard to investigate how the council spent their money from 2001-2005. That is because Dale Mallory and his cronies have either kept or destroyed all bank records for that time period. They refused to had over the historical records to the new administration of the WECC.
The Police were able to get copies of some cancelled checks from the bank, but nobody has been able to acquire any of the supporting back up documents for the five year time period that Dale was President.
Judging by the way he abused his power in the one incident that we have proven, I can only assume more exists in those records. People thought the police would be able to get them, but it is quite clear now whose side they were on.
"We had meetings with the police and with the FBI," Petersen says. "It went on for months and months. This thing was bounced around like the hot potato it was. The police didn't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole."
With city politics and potential promotions on the line, it is easy to overlook $1,100 from the Mayor’s big brother. This case was destined never to see the light of day, and it didn’t.
Mallory also is facing other legal troubles.
CadleRock Joint Venture, a northern Ohio company, recently won a judgment in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to garnish Mallory's paycheck to pay off a debt he's owed since at least 1997. Cadlerock is seeking $37,475. Mallory initially contested the debt's validity and he didn't list it on state ethics forms he had to file while running for office.
Mallory's check is being garnished $858 each month to pay off the debt. At that rate, it will take him about two years -- or nearly his entire term in state office -- to pay it off.
The great thing about our State Representative is that before getting elected in 2006 he hadn’t had continual gainful employment since 1997, which is why CadleRock had to wait nine years to garnish his wages.
He did do a brief stint as a consultant to the Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation. The people he appointed to the CEC board as WECC President ended up hiring him (cough cough - kickback, conflict of interest).
During that time he was paid to work on a project for the CityLink Homeless mall. He was WECC President at the time. While residing over WECC meetings, Dale Mallory refused to let the CityLink project come up for a vote so that the community could challenge the zoning. That is the sole reason why he was removed from office. After the fact the community learned that he was on the payroll to promote CityLink the entire time.
Dale Mallory sold out his community. Dale Mallory committed a crime that will never be truly investigated. Dale Mallory is State Representative for the Ohio 32nd.