An exclusive Fox 8 I-Team investigation is raising more questions about the spending of your tax dollars by Cuyahoga County leaders.
This time we’ve uncovered how much money is being spent by the county on public relations and communications. We started looking into this as we investigated armed sheriff’s deputies earning tens of thousands of dollars in overtime protecting and driving around county executive Armond Budish, and at times, even his wife.
Recently, the county hired a communications chief at $140,000. Meantime, a woman who had served in an interim role remains on staff at $82,000. Plus the I-Team found four other county spokespeople earning a total of more than $200,000 a year.
We also found the county paying an outside public relations and communications firm more than $28,750 this year. The I-Team confronted Dennis Willard of Precision Media and Public Relations, LLC based in Columbus. Willard sat in on an I-Team interview with the sheriff’s department concerning the county executive security, and as the interview ended, Willard interjected. However, as we turned the camera on him, he turned away and said he was not there to answer questions.