A Beachwood city councilman who faces criminal charges has lodged a criminal complaint against the prosecutor who filed those charges.
Mike Burkons, who faces a first-degree misdemeanor charge of interfering with the civil rights of another person, filed the complaint against University Heights Prosecutor Stephanie B. Scalise.
Scalise was acting as special prosecutor in the criminal case against Burkons because of conflicts of interest in Beachwood’s law department. The case is in limbo after Geauga County Prosecutor James R. Flaiz took over prosecution and requested dismissal April 27.
Burkons is seeking to have Scalise prosecuted for the same offense for which he was charged.
Lt. Todd Kinley of the University Heights Police Department confirmed that Burkons made a complaint.
“The matter has been referred to our law director, Luke McConville, and to the state attorney general’s office for follow-up,” Kinley wrote in a May 19 email to the Cleveland Jewish News. “Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, and that no charges have been levied, I am unable to provide any names of uncharged suspects.”
Burkons told the CJN that he is making a complaint against Scalise.
“Municipal prosecutors have tremendous power but are not above the law and they can’t file criminal charges against someone because they didn’t like that they used their constitutionally protected free speech rights to criticize a fellow municipal prosecutor,” Burkons wrote the CJN in a May 17 email.
The victim in the criminal case against Burkons is Alix Noureddine, a Beachwood resident, who is the prosecutor in Cleveland Heights. Burkons emailed Noureddine’s employer after Noureddine criticized Beachwood police. Beachwood City Council censured Burkons in the same matter Aug. 17, 2020.
Scalise, in a May 19 email to the CJN, wrote, “Councilman Burkons’ continued efforts to intimidate his own prosecutor are not something I am putting any energy into. He has contacted my employer, University Heights, multiple times in an attempt to harass me for doing my job as a special prosecutor for Beachwood. I am not surprised by his behavior, because contacting people’s employers to try to intimidate them is precisely what lead to his criminal charge and council censure.”
This is a developing story.