Cuyahoga Co. Prosecutor Bill Mason to Resign

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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason announced Monday that he will resign at the end of the month--ending almost 14 years in office as one of the region's top power brokers.

"I will miss this office," he says, "it's a good place here...we do good things."

Mason is leaving to become a partner in the public sector of Bricker and Eckler, a local law firm.     

He had previously announced he wouldn't seek re-election in November, but was expected to fill out his term until January.     

But Mason said he started to feel like a lame duck.     

"It's just harder to get things done when people know you're leaving in a couple months," he says.   

Mason leaves behind an office with a 92 percent conviction rate (the national average is 68 percent), and a legacy that includes a number of accomplishments - and some controversy.     

Ten years ago, Mason launched a massive investigation of pedophile priests within the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. One priest, and ten others, were ultimately charged.    

He also established a task force to catch online child predators, and championed reforming county government after a massive corruption scandal led to indictments against many of his fellow officeholders.    

Mason rejects criticism that his office didn't find the corruption first.    

He says the FBI correctly didn't bring him into the investigation because his office technically represented many of the officeholders who were later indicted.    

As to whether he was a target of the probe, Mason says, "I don't know what they looked at or not. All I can tell you is I'm not concerned about my conduct while I've been a public official."    

Mason says he will miss the action that comes with office, but not the unending scrutiny.

Mason announced the departure in a statement released Monday:

"After nearly fourteen years, I will be leaving my position as Cuyahoga County Prosecutor on September 30, 2012. Serving the community in this position has been a deeply humbling and rewarding experience. It has been an honor and privilege to work with the thousands of police officers and law enforcement agencies, hundreds of assistant prosecutors, countless community groups and leaders and the 57 municipalities of our great county."

*Read Mason's entire statement HERE

It’s unclear if someone will be appointed to fill out his term before November’s election.