Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cuyahoga County's scandal-plagued boards of revision leave legacy of uncertainty as new government takes hold: A Question of Values

With Gabriel Baird

A few strokes of correction fluid. That's all it took to light the fuse that exploded into a series of scandals.

In June, someone with access to Cuyahoga County tax documents tried to secretly lower the value of a townhouse with the aid of the commonly used office product.

Could something so simple, yet so brazen, be so routine in taxing property, the county's most important duty?
Over the next six months, a stunning answer emerged in the pages of The Plain Dealer.

The newspaper, in a series of investigative stories, unearthed rampant mismanagement, deplorable work habits, questionable tax breaks, favors for the connected and violations of state law.
Today, the paper looks back on all that went wrong and what that may mean for the future of Ohio's most populous county.

Read the full story