Schumann's Cleveland Pages archives

This archive article is selected from The Cleveland Pages, the city's only weekly independent journal of politics and opinion on the Internet. Find out all about the Cleveland Pages here, or check out the current issue.

The Free Times, in an article no longer online, called Cleveland Pages "Spicily independent... in the best tradition of citizen-journalist."

The Cleveland Pages is a somewhat-weekly commentary on what's new and why it's all happening in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. If what you read here is upsetting, you might prefer this simple-minded happy-talk instead.

Bookmark the Cleveland Pages at http://re.cleveland.oh.us. Bookmark this issue at http://re.cleveland.oh.us/archives/19990108.html.

A Cleveland Pages archive search will be available soon... Meanwhile, skip to the flat-file archive list! And read an overview of who's putting this thing out and what it's about.

Jim WHO? (8 January 1999)

While the local media, particularly the Plain Dealer, observed the death last week of former writer Jim Parker, it seems that they've all forgotten the story of his biggest story. In the case of the Dealer itself, the omission is understandable; editorial politics and a desire to avoid embarrassing then-Mayor Voinovich had led management to bury what could have been a Pulitzer-class story.

The story began in the early 1980s with what was later described as a "reverse sting" drug operation by Cleveland Police officers working under the direction of Lieutenant Howard Rudolph. The officers allegedly looked the other way while dealer Art Feckner sold powder cocaine in an East Side neighborhood around Woodland Avenue. Proceeds from the ongoing sales were to have funded a major undercover buy in Florida, presumably on the theory that it was more important to get the upstream suppliers than to jail someone as unimportant as Feckner.

A series of investigative articles by Parker throughout 1996 brought this operation to light. As a result, pressure was brought to bear against the Voinovich administration to prosecute Rudolph's former underlings. Embarrassingly, though, Howard Rudolph by that time had become Chief of Police; Voinovich had publicly praised him for agressive and "innovative" law enforcement techniques, including the Feckner endeavor.

Parker didn't do so well either. Plain Dealer brass didn't like running stories that put Voinovich in a bad light, but politically they couldn't fire Parker for doing his job. Parker found himself transferred to the obituary desk. He stuck around there for a while before getting fed up, and (if my memory serves since this isn't in my references) just failed to return from his lunch break one day. On the books, Jim Parker was canned for going AWOL when his real crime was coming up with an important story.

In December 1988, charges against the officers were dismissed by Judge Michael J. Corrigan. Corrigan's ruling was a bit hard to follow but seemed to be saying that even if the police had committed the overt acts alleged by prosecutors, their actions would not have constituted crimes. Rudolph himself was never charged with a crime, but Mike White fired him upon taking office in 1989. For some reason we haven't heard much from Rudolph since.

Feckner himself was convicted and sentenced to five years.

It's true that local police nationwide do perform undercover buys, routinely, as a way of gathering evidence against drug dealers. Less frequently, they have executed controlled "reverse sting" sales, busting the buyers on the spot or soon enough afterwards to avoid having contraband actually distributed and used on the streets. Rudolph supporters blurred the distinction, but the Feckner operation actually resulted in at least half a million dollars worth of cocaine being distributed to actual users on the street.

You couldn't actually say literally that cops were selling drugs. They weren't. But Rudolph's vice unit was accused--with enough evidence to gain indictments against cops--of allowing it to happen in order to raise funds for the Florida bust.

Interestingly, as of 1991 it was reported in the Plain Dealer that $452,000 Feckner had stated he'd given to police was not accounted for. Based on my reading of news indexes, the investigations and judicial appeals seem to have stopped right about then.

The story of Feckner's dope dealing and the alleged involvement of Howard Rudolph's people is bad enough. It's troubling that none of the major media in Cleveland thought to mention what could have been Jim Parker's biggest story ever--the one that got him fired.


Rate this Cleveland Pages article!

Talk back to Schumann!

Your return mail (for replies)
Your real name (if you feel like giving it)
Tell me about your favorite self-censored media stunt.
Check here if you want to authorize Cleveland Pages to publish this comment in a future article.



Recent Cleveland Pages archives

  1. The real problem with race (25 May 2003)
  2. Yes to the Library, raspberries to the SEIU, and Voinovich is fair game (24 April 2003)
  3. Health and Human Services levy: vote NO, for the children! (17 April 2003)
  4. Convention Center: they can't be serious (11 January 2003)
  5. Hey! The system works! (26 December 2002)
  6. Halloween in the Hood (3 November 2002)
  7. Endorsements Again (25 October 2002)
  8. Callahan's Cleveland Wages Pages (22 September 2002)
  9. DUH! (Gateway out of money) (23 August 2002)
  10. Campbell's acclaim so far: two cheers (11 May 2002)
  11. Primary: Dettman, probably; definitely NO on Port Authority (05 May 2002)
  12. Cleveland Schools: Tremont, fifteen others to close (26 March 2002)
  13. Accounting for Accountability (20 March 2002)
  14. Ohio != Education (10 March 2002)
  15. Charter Schools Audit--Amazing Clarity (3 March 2002)
  16. Rehabilitating Jeffrey Johnson (20 January 2002)
  17. An Agenda for the New Mayor (4 January 2002)
  18. New Year's Resolutions for Everyone! (29 December 2001)
  19. Dirty Yellow Journalism at the Plain Dealer (20 September 2001)
  20. All I Wanted (27 August 2001)
  21. The Little Coverup (24 January 2001)
  22. A Little of Everything (14 December 2001)
  23. Last-minute endorsements (6 November 2000)
  24. I'm Going to Ralph (13 October 2000)
  25. "Airport Authority" a bad idea (22 September 2000)
  26. Ameritech: real competition needed (1 September 2000)
  27. Broken in[to]! (12 August 2000)
  28. Mad about Brady (31 July 2000)
  29. Straight talk from a developer (17 July 2000)
  30. Gateway sports leases: the not-so-fine print (7 July 2000)
  31. What's wrong with "Cleveland Tomorrow" (23 June 2000)
  32. Central Planning loses again: Gliatech heads east (2 June 2000)
  33. There was no Cleveland pages of 26 May 2000.
  34. Things on My Mind (19 May 2000)
  35. "... but sometimes, it really is raining!" (12 May 2000)
  36. Plain Dealer flubs Living Wage coverage (5 May 2000)
  37. Wake Up! (28 April 2000)
  38. There was no Cleveland pages for most of April 2000.
  39. This Week in Hospitals (31 March 2000)
  40. All Quiet on the Western Front (24 March 2000)
  41. Hospital Investigation Needed (17 March 2000)
  42. One-party rule continues (14 March 2000)
  43. Endorsements? Me? ...and why the city should shut down, now (7 March 2000)
  44. Ohio 13th House District: who wants it more? (18 February 2000)
  45. Cleveland's a joke. Get used to it (4 February 2000)
  46. Living Wage, on the merits, yes (28 January 2000)
  47. Reclaiming the city (24 January 2000)
  48. Crain's "gets it"! (7 January 2000)
  49. Person of the Year 1999 (31 December 1999)
  50. Baeppler quits (24 December 1999)
  51. News stories we'd like to see (13 December 1999)
  52. Crimes out of Nothing (29 November 1999)
  53. The trouble with Polensek (12 November 1999)
  54. Joanna Cagan on Sports Facilities (5 November 1999)
  55. Richard's Route (22 October 1999)
  56. Quiet on West 62nd Street (15 October 1999)
  57. Pine Needles vs. Democracy (8 October 1999)
  58. Who Owns the Rock Hall? (1 October 1999)
  59. Supertrapp: some signs of life at City Hall (24 September 1999)
  60. More "public participation" (16 September 1999)
  61. Unhooked from vouchers (7 September 1999)
  62. Good news about the Klan (20 August 1999)
  63. Another kind of respect (13 August 1999)
  64. Compromised Larkin? (6 August 1999)
  65. County Continues to Bail Out Gateway--this is news? (30 July 1999)
  66. Why are people poor? (23 July 1999)
  67. More on Reverse Commuter Blues (16 July 1999)
  68. North Coast Harbor project proposals: some sure things (9 July 1999)
  69. More happy talk, less Rokakis-bashing (18 June 1999)
  70. Scratch a Philadelphian, find a Clevelander (11 June 1999)
  71. ...and second prize is two weeks! (4 June 1999)
  72. There was no Cleveland pages of 28 May 1999.
  73. Chema admits it--Gateway's a loser (21 May 1999)
  74. Gateway broke; anyone surprised? (14 May 1999)
  75. Better than vouchers (7 May 1999)
  76. Help with income taxes! (30 April 1999)
  77. Remembering Perk (23 April 1999)
  78. Appraising Appraisals (16 April 1999)
  79. "Glory for Sale"--but who's buying? (9 April 1999)
  80. Reverse commuter blues (2 April 1999)
  81. A story about race (26 March 1999)
  82. How far we've come? (19 March 1999)
  83. There was no Cleveland pages of 12 March 1999.
  84. Cheap "Internet Journalism" at Channel 5 (5 March 1999)
  85. The Euclid Shuffle (26 February 1999)
  86. Sick of cheap reporting (19 February 1999)
  87. Equality in taxation (12 February 1999)
  88. Vice-President Voinovich? (5 February 1999)
  89. There was no Cleveland pages of 22 January 1999.
  90. Moran quits, and what's wrong with Council (22 January 1999)
  91. Everyday people, everyday traffic (15 January 1999)
  92. Jim WHO? (8 January 1999)
  93. The Cleveland Pages took a little holiday break.
  94. Judy on the Jennings (18 December 1998)
  95. There was no Cleveland pages of 11 December 1998.
  96. Coit Road shows some promise (4 December 1998)
  97. The Cleveland Pages took a long break. Hey, I don't get paid for this, okay?
  98. Merle Gordon on Ward 15 (6 November 1998)
  99. The new downtown plan hearing (30 October 1998)
  100. The new downtown plan, what's wrong (19 October 1998)
  101. Civic Vision 2000, the documents revealed! (16 October 1998)
  102. Civic Vision 2000, maybe some sunlight (9 October 1998)
  103. Another cut at the Civic Vision process (2 October 1998)
  104. Progress on vouchers (25 September 1998)
  105. Paying people to move away (18 September 1998)
  106. The payoff for Lerner? Nothing! (11 September 1998)
  107. Return of the Big Deal (5 September 1998)
  108. ¡Radio Libre Cleveland! (31 August 1998)
  109. The Public's Business (25 August 1998)
  110. BP moves out: the long term (14 August 1998)
  111. The Process Revolution (31 July 1998)
  112. STOP in the name of the law (24 July 1998)
  113. A new kind of redlining? (17 July 1998)
  114. Call your councilman--NOT! (27 February 1998)

This document's template was last modified
 on Wednesday, 09-Nov-2005 18:51:58 EST.
There is a new Cleveland Pages more or less every weekend.
The entire Cleveland Pages website is © 1997,1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003
 by Mark W. Schumann, all rights reserved.
Copyrights belonging to others on individual items are noted.
Nobody else would take the credit or blame for these opinions anyway.

Go to the front page

Last validated 8 January 1999:

Go to Schumann Family welcome page [ Valid HTML 4.0! ] [ Valid CSS! ] [ Bobby Approved! ] [ Made with Cascading Style Sheets]

The W3C validator verifies that documents on this site conform to the Strict HTML 4.01 specification, which is a step towards consistency, accessibility, and interoperability.

Bobby checks for opportunities to improve access for users regardless of disabilities or special needs.