Former Mayor Gets Second Chance at Leading Brook Park

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BROOK PARK, Ohio--Voters in Brook Park are giving former mayor Tom Coyne a second chance. Despite many well-publicized substance abuse issues, residents voted him back into office on Tuesday.

Coyne won 49% of the vote; the two other people running against him received 33% and 17%.

"My failures were personal, never really as the mayor. I never hurt them as the mayor. I was retired," Coyne told FOX 8.

Coyne said he is grateful. On Tuesday, voters returned him to city hall, despite high-profile issues of substance abuse ten years ago.

"Why would I go through the personal attacks all over again? Because of the community that I helped build with these people. It was them that said, 'listen, you gotta run. You gotta do this'," said Coyne.

Three years after leaving office in 2001, Coyne was captured on police dash cam in North Olmsted lying drunk and naked in a random driveway, miles from his home. In 2003, Coyne was charged with drunk driving in Westlake.

In 2004, he spent time in jail after violating parole when he tested positive for cocaine.

He said all of those troubles are behind him. "I'm fine. I'm hoping this is the last interview that I have to do and the last thing in the paper about what happened with Tom Coyne ten years ago. I want them reporting the success of the people who had confidence in the guy. I got a second chance from the good Lord. What am I doing with it? I'm gonna come back and serve the community that has served me so well," he said.

Brook Park residents we spoke to believe Tom Coyne deserves a second chance.

"He did a lot of really good things with the city. I mean the city was running great and I'm just hoping he can do it again," said Brook Park resident, Robert Blount.

"Everybody makes mistakes. People can change, but that doesn't really bother me at all," said resident, Debbie Purcell.

"As long as he's open about it, which he is, and willing to take the steps to rectify that, I have absolutely no issue with that," said Kim Knott, who just moved from Brook Park this week.

Coyne said one of his biggest accomplishments was spearheading the effort to acquire the NASA Glenn Research Center from Cleveland, giving them the IX Center. He said he wants to continue economic development.

"You could argue that that agreement actually kept Brook Park alive for the last decade because of the revenue that came from NASA because Ford had diminished its presence," said Coyne.

Read more stories on YOU DECIDE 2013.

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