I-Team exclusive on personal security for Cuyahoga County Executive leads to action

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CLEVELAND-- An exclusive FOX 8 I-Team investigation into personal security for the Cuyahoga County Executive now has led to action.

Cuyahoga County Council members now plan to bring the matter up during budget hearings in the coming weeks.

The I-Team found a total of three deputies earning tens of thousands of dollars in your tax money just in overtime on the security detail for Armond Budish. We found deputies pick up the county executive in the morning, take him to appointments, and take him home. The sheriff’s department has confirmed that deputies have also taken Budish’s wife to events although we’ve been told that has stopped.

Cuyahoga County Councilman Dave Greenspan heads the budget committee. He told the I-Team, “We were aware of the activity going on, but as far as the cost, the overtime, we had no idea of that.”

Greenspan says it’s easy for the cost of the Budish security detail to get lost in the general budget for the sheriff’s department. Now, he wants the cost of county executive security separated so that council can more easily keep an eye on it.

Meantime, the matter had been on the agenda for this week’s public safety committee, but the I-Team saw that it has been removed from the agenda. We investigated and found council has decided to hold all discussion about this during budget hearings in October.

All this comes as the county is looking at a budget deficit estimated at more than  $25 million. County leaders have also asked all departments to propose new budgets with 10 percent cuts.

**Read more on the investigation here**

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