Bill Mason to Step Down as Prosecutor
Will join Cleveland law firm
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason will resign from office at the end of September and take a job at the Cleveland law firm of Bricker & Eckler.
Mason was not seeking re-election to another four-year term.
Two people are running in the Nov. 6 general election to succeed him -- former Judge Timothy McGinty, a Democrat, and Edward Wade Jr.
Mason, who has served as county prosecutor since 1999, said in a statement today that he has met the three goals he established when he took office: take a tough stance on crime; create a community-based prosecution unit; and operate an efficient, effective and transparent office.
"My office has prosecuted over 200,000 criminal cases with a 92 percent conviction rate — the national average is 68 percent," Mason said in the statement.
Among his accomplishments in office is the creation of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in 2000, which went statewide in 2003 at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mason said he also streamlined the county justice system and vastly upgraded technology in the Prosecutor's Office.
"In 1999, it took an average of 87 days from arrest to indictment, while today the average is 21 days," he said. "Based upon the average case load handled by my staff, my office is the most efficient prosecutor’s office in the state and one of the most technologically advanced offices in the nation."
Mason came under fire from local media for failing to investigate county corruption before the FBI launched a probe.
But his office was recognized for investigating pedophile priests in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese a decade ago, and made national news when it successfully defended the state in a wrongful imprisonment suit filed by Sam Reese Sheppard, son of Dr. Sam Sheppard, who was convicted in 1954 of killing his wife, Marilyn, and spend almost a decade in prison before the conviction was overturned.
He said Monday that serving as prosecutor has been "a deeply humbling and rewarding experience."