AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File

Dem Cleveland Mayor Under Fire for Hiring Former Officer Who Was the Focus of Civil Rights Lawsuit

Democrat Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has come under fire for a questionable hiring decision. The city recently hired Philip McHugh, a former detective in Washington, D.C., whose career as a law enforcement officer raises serious questions about whether he should have a position in such an important office.

McHugh was brought on as a public safety advisor. But reports suggest that his past might be an issue for the job for which he was hired.

When McHugh was a D.C. detective in 2016, he was accused of violating the civil rights of an elderly black couple.

It was later revealed that McHugh was Mayor Bibb’s roommate in college, which seems to have played a role in his being chosen for the job. Richard Starr, the councilman for Ward 5, expressed reservations about McHugh’s hiring, arguing that the lawsuit shows McHugh will “do whatever it takes to make himself seem right.”

Sarah Johnson, the city’s chief communications officer, defending the hiring decision, pointing out that “The case against Mr. McHugh was dismissed and there was no finding of wrongdoing made by the court or by his previous employer,” and that he “underwent the same onboarding process, including a background check, required of all new city employees.”

The local NAACP chapter president expressed alarm at McHugh’s hiring, saying that “It is not wise, to allow somebody who has been at the center of a civil rights violation investigation, to come into the city that they have no idea about, and be an advisor.”

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