Mayor Pleads Guilty At Put-in-Bay
Put-in-Bay Mayor Pleads Guilty and resigns on February 13th, about four months after being indicted by the State of Ohio for two felonies and four misdemeanors involving ethics violations and conflicts of interest. The State charged McCann with securing a waterline project for a business associate which the Put-in-Bay Village Council unanimously voted to approve. About the same time, McCann’s son, Put-in-Bay Village Councilman Bernard Michael Mc- Cann, and daughter, Melinda Myers, were both charged with ethics misdemeanors stemming from actions the State says were to their benefit. Melinda was on the Village Council at the time. The Put-in-Bay investigation which led to the charges began in June 2017, after concerns were voiced to the county prosecutor.
The guilty pleas are the result of a joint criminal investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio Ethics Commission.
Mayor McCann McCann resignation followed by Mayor Pleads Guilty In Court
McCann’s daughter, Melinda Myers, delivered his letter of resignation to the Village Council at their February meeting. His resignation was accepted by Council. President Pro Tempore of the Council, Jessica Dress, became mayor. Two days after resigning, the Mayor Pleads Guilty, his son, Michael, and daughter Melinda Myers, appeared in court in Port Clinton and plead guilty to misdemeanor conflict of interest charges. The pleas appeared to be part of a plea deal which was rumored to be being hammered out nearly two months ago. According to one report, “visiting Judge Larry Allen, of Willoughby, offered a blistering rebuke of the three McCanns following their guilty pleas, shaking his head as he spoke.”The Put-in-Bay Mayors Sentencing is scheduled for March 29th. McCann wrote in his letter of resignation, “I have been wrongfully accused of felonious criminal activity to include allegations of theft in office, bribery, money laundering and having unlawful
interest in a public contract. None of these allegations are true. Not one of the allegations were supported by any credible evidence.”
“As a result of these allegations and the ensuing investigation by the State of Ohio since at least June of 2017, Village Council has been unable to complete the project as promised to the Ohio State University over 12 years ago to supply Ohio State (facilities located on Peach Point & Gibraltar) with appropriate water flow for fire protection. This project is critical. My resignation as Mayor will provide Village Council with the opportunity to address this specific project and the many other issues which confront the Village of Put-in-Bay.”
He also added, “As a resident, I would be happy to serve on Council or in any other manner.”
Michael McCann is still a member of the council, and the misdemeanor charge does not prevent him from holding public office. The President of Council, Jessica Dress, who has been chairing Council meetings since December. With Dress taking over as mayor, her Council seat needs to be filled. At least two Village residents have shown an interest in filling the vacated seat. The Village Council has 30 days to fill the seat, and if it doesn’t, the new mayor has the option of filling or not filling the seat. Contrary to reports which call Dress “the acting Mayor,” she is the official mayor of the Village of Put-in-Bay and will continue as such until the next mayoral election.