Menu Style


Media coverage of FBI probe of former Cleveland councilman Basheer Jones called racist by at least one city council person....Jones is Black and has not been indicted or accused of a crime....By editor Kathy Wray Coleman of

  • PDF
Pictured is former Cleveland councilman Basheer Jones and

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Former Cleveland Ward 7 Councilman Basheer Jones, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year instead of reelection, is under attack by the FBI and the mainstream media, a reminder of how Black elected officials are subjected to a double standard.

And it appears that the only one's shielded are the five new members of city council and new mayor Justin Bibb, Cleveland's fourth Black mayor who, like the new city council members, took office in January.

"It's racist," said one council person, who spoke on condition of anonymity "He [Jones] is a Black man and has not even been indicted and they did not give this much attention to former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who was indicted and is accused of participating in a $60 million pay-to-play scheme."

A Democrat, to date Jones has not been indicted or accused of any crimes relative to the investigation, with Black leaders, including some council persons, saying that the media are hellbent on destroying him “because he is Black.”

Practically all of the coverage by the mainstream media and a few alternative media types surrounding Jones' dilemma, not an inch of it positive, is on Blacks allegedly linked to the public corruption probe, Black leaders in particular, with the outspoken Jones at the helm, and centerstage.

Jones has remained quiet, other than to endorse Republican Lee Weingart over Democratic nominee Chris Roynane earlier this week at a press conference in Hough, Jones saying that he remains a Democrat but Democrats in the county and city, both Democratic strongholds, have not done right by Hough and the city's Black community.

Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin, also Black, will not shut up publicly about the controversy and is fodder for widespread media coverage, every single mainstream media outlet in Cleveland on board with headline stories on Friday of Jones, 37. A pronounced Muslim, Jones is a  homegrown Cleveland kid who went on to earn a bachelor's degree at the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta. He then returned home to the  historic Hough neighborhood on the city's east side where he later became a councilman, and, last year, a mayoral candidate who placed fifth in a crowded non-partisan primary.

At the heart of the investigation, say sources, and according to subpoenas, is $2 million approved by the 17-member city council and secured by Jones before his council term ended from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to NEON, and monies associated with several nonprofits as well as a list of individuals linked to the councilman during his four-year term in office.

Jones ousted attorney and former assistant county prosecutor T.J. Dow by hardly a dozen votes to win the Ward 7 council seat in 2017. Hough remains divided behind the Dow-Jones race for the seat in 2017 with Stephanie Howse, a former state representative who ;ost the seat to Dow, succeeding Jones, after he opted to run for mayor last year and not reelection.

City lawyers answered a federal grand jury subpoena seeking records on a number of nonprofits, organizations and individuals with ties to Jones, and the FBI is in hot pursuit of others close to the former councilman, including one of his babies' mamas, Mecca East. Campaign monies from the run by Jones for mayor, and how they were distributed, are also part of the ongoing FBI probe.

An FBI subpoena also went out to King Management, a development consultant, and the Famicos Foundation, a nonprofit that works on redevelopment projects on the city’s east side. The Real Black Friday, an organization that promotes small minority businesses, was also among those subpoenaed.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned. and the most read Black digital newspaper and blog in Ohio and in the Midwest Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2022 03:40

Latest News


Our Most Popular Articles Of The Last 6 Months At Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's Black Digital News Leader...Click Below