Politics and Corruption Probe Mixed

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Commissioner Peter Jones summoned reporters to the commissioners' chambers for a midmorning press conference Tuesday. While Jones was clearly intent on damage control, there was no sugar coating or downplaying the gravity of a large scale, and very public, federal investigation of possible corruption.

"Above all else, the public is absolutely entitled to know that its government will be operated with complete integrity and without even a hint--a whiff--of corruption," Commissioner Jones said.

Jones said county employees were instructed to cooperate fully with investigators. "Let the chips fall where they may," he added, cautioning against using the scandal as an opportunity to play politics.

However, his chief political rival says Jones is "part of the problem." Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland says because Jones was appointed to his post by embattled commissioner Jimmy Dimora, he has been beholden to him.

"He has been on the commission for six years and... I believe has basically turned a blind eye to what's been going on," Sutherland said.

Sutherland is running against Jones' in his race for re-election this November.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Jones released details of one search warrant executed at the county administration building. It reveals that federal agents had cast an extremely wide net in their search for evidence of corruption.

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