CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court officials are investigating after an incident on an elevator at the Justice Center resulted in a rape trial being delayed.
Sources confirm to the FOX 8 I-Team that the incident happened Monday afternoon in an elevator used by judges and jurors.
According to multiple sources, a juror wrote a letter stating a man who identified himself as a judge pushed another man off the elevator saying there were already six people on the elevator.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, only 6 people are allowed on the elevator at a time.
The FOX 8 I-Team has repeatedly requested a copy of the letter from court officials.
The letter, in part, says, “I am writing to formally complain about the conduct of a judge in an elevator on Monday November 29. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the judge, who was white. He violently and unnecessarily removed an African American man from an elevator between the 15th and 21st floors in an episode that strikes me as an abuse of a professional power dynamic, if not assault.”
Darren Toms, Public Information Officer, for the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, states the court is aware of the allegation.
“We are taking steps to initiate an investigation,” Toms said. “The Court will not comment further during the investigation.”
The incident did lead Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold to delay jury selection in a rape trial stating jury selection was comprised by an “incident in an elevator.”
The jury panel was dismissed, and a new panel will be called next week.
We did reach out to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and were told officials had no comment.