CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A citizen and small business owner writes to describe his frustration with criminals and the criminal justice system. He's been robbed and wounded and complains the authorities appear listless in their pursuit of crooks. Cincinnati City Councilman Cecil Thomas, a former police officer, has posted the letter on City Hall's e-gov web portal, which is a newly opened window that offers a degree of unprecedented transparency into governmental activities.
"As you know I was shot twice in 2006. You may not be aware it was the same juvenile on both occasions. In July it was only a flesh wound, but in Nov it was nearly fatal. I credit the quick action of the police and fire department for getting me to the hospital on time. I was bleeding internally and ended up losing a gallon of blood. The only time I saw the detectives was when I woke up after five hours of emergency surgery. I have no idea what I told them."
Robert Mlinar's letter is raw, uncensored and boiling. Clark Street Blog spotted the letter first and noted:
"The letter relates one family's experiences with crime and paints a picture of the CPD as grossly incompetent and uninterested. Truly unbelievable. Two bets I would not make: local media will investigate and report this; and the city manager and mayor will will follow up and demand accountability."
One quibble with WestEnder, Clark Street's author. The fact that City Hall's portal exists -- and the letter is available for all the world to see -- is itself a powerful new tool for raising issues of accountability in a public forum.