The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered the untold story behind former judge and city official Lance Mason now charged with killing his ex-wife.
Records just released to the I-Team reveal how he’d been hired at Cleveland City Hall despite a felony conviction for a vicious assault on the same woman he’s now accused of killing. We’ve found the city offered Mason a job even before doing a background check.
Ever since he got arrested for murder late last year, many of you have wondered how and why he had even been given a second chance , and now for the first time, we can show you.
The city hired Mason back in 2017 to help bring in minority businesses.
Mason had already been to prison for attacking his wife in a case that made headlines.
Emails show Mason acknowledged getting the Cleveland City Hall job offer, and he formally accepted it. Then 14 days later, internal emails show human resources workers found a “hit” in Mason’s background check, his previous felony conviction.
The same records also indicate top city officials then discussed this, and Mason’s new boss moved forward with hiring him..
The I-Team went to see Melissa Burrows, the city official who had hired Mason. We asked why he had been offered the job before a background check. Burrows responded by saying, "I would have to check the records. I don't have the paperwork in front of me.”
Later, a city hall spokesman said the standard city hiring process was followed. A job offer is made, a job candidate has to agree to a background check, and then the check is done.
But when we asked Burrows if the way things happened in Mason’s case is typical, she answered, “I'll have to look at the timeline around how that happened.”
Mayor Frank Jackson has said repeatedly he believes in second chances. And he’s said Lance Mason got hired because he was the best man for the job.
But again, records show Mason had been offered the job even before his bosses discussed warning signs.
After his murder arrest, the city fired Lance Mason.
He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. The next hearing in the case is set for next month.