SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has uncovered new video that may help to unravel more of the mystery behind an FBI investigation into a former South Euclid Judge.
And, for the first time, a local leader has spoken out about it.
This month, the I-TEAM revealed the FBI had requested documents from South Euclid City Hall and the Municipal Court there concerning former Judge Gayle Williams-Byers.
The FBI has not said what sparked the investigation.
But, now we’re getting the first look at what the feds requested.
That includes videos from recent South Euclid Council meetings.
We reviewed one, and it showed council questioning the Judge about Court money and tax dollars.
Council President Ruth I. Gray told the I-TEAM: “We have raised concerns about unaudited bank accounts that needed to be resolved.”
Gray stressed she has no idea what the FBI is investigating. But, for years, the city and the judge had been at odds over money.
And, now, agents requested video of council meetings including one with talk about bank accounts going back even before the Judge took office.
“I’m certain that the FBI has their reasons,” said Gray. “They didn’t just, haphazardly, come in one day and say, ‘We want to pick on South Euclid Municipal Court.’”
The feds also requested six years of emails and the former judge’s personnel file. So, we looked through the file. Just a few dozen pages. We saw paperwork for insurance and other benefits, what appeared to be routine documents.
The I-TEAM also reviewed records from the Ohio Supreme Court. That included complaints from citizens about dealing with the court.
Last month, the Judge resigned.
In her resignation letter, she pointed out that she had put up with “professional harassment” and “racism”.
The council president responded to that by saying, “wholeheartedly” she believes “racism is not a real issue in South Euclid.”
Recently, the attorney for the Judge, Jeffrey Saffold, said, “we are completely willing and even anxious to cooperate and have absolutely nothing to hide.”
Three years ago, the I-TEAM investigated the same Judge after questions about her travel and Court spending.
At that time, when we asked about her use of Court money and taxpayer dollars, Gayle Williams-Byers said, “I have been an awesome steward of their resources.”
No charges have been filed, in fact, we’ve found nothing at all filed in federal court on this case. While the FBI is not talking, some of what agents have asked for shows talk about money.