Eight present and former city councilmen, including President George L. Forbes, well indicted, but were greeted as heroes by the public.
The school board President, John Gallagher, was convicted for exposing his buttocks to a passing car in a ritual called "mooning," and the public wants his resignation for his lunar activities.
Mayor Denis J. Kucinich, who was almost recalled in August, now says he has an ucler and has dropped out of sight. In absentia, he appointed a police chief who resigned from a previous job because, his boss said, he was an alcoholic and couldn't take the pressure.
The police missed a payday and the firemen are next. A judge took away the water system and the city is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, the city's civic biggies are launching a $4.5 million campaign to boost the town's image. But that may be delayed.
"It's a little hard saying what a great place Cleveland is when you're in receivership," said Arthur B. Modell, cochairman of the public relations drive and owner of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns.
"Trying to meet the onslaught of bad publicity is like playing the Pittsburg Steelers twice in one week," said Modell, whose team has lost twice to Pittsburgh.
Recent weeks in Cleveland have been discouraging to people like Modell, who had hoped that Kucinich's 236-vote victory in the recall election has ended the series of zany events at City Hall.
Those hopes were shattered when a county grand jury indicated Forbes, the city's first black council president, Oct. 27 on 14 charges resulting from a carnival gambling kickback scandal unearthed by The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.
Forbes had admitted getting $4,000 from carnival operators. He said he gave the money to charity. He was indicated on charges of engaging in organized crime, bribery, extortion, theft in office and intimidating a police officer.
Five other sitting councilmen were among the 18 persons indicted on a total of 498 charges in the state's largest investigation of public officials.
Yet, three days later, the councilmen were hailed as civil rights victims by a throng of 1,500 people who jammed the council chamber. They joined hands and sang "We Shall Overcome," while black and white political and business leaders said they would start a $250,000 defense fund. Only one of the indicated councilmen is white. Even the Growth Association - the local booster group - reaffirmed its support of Forbes and the councilmen.
It was a different story for school board President Gallagher, 28. A crowd of 1,000 people demonstrated Wednesday outside the school adminstration building, demanding his resignation after newspapers reported that Gallagher has been found guilty of disorderly conduct for exposing himself on a freeway in plain view of a state patrolman.
"It was an innocent prank," said Gallagher, who has been struggling to establish a mature image as head of this city's financially and racially troubled school system. He has refused to resign.
On Oct. 15, Kucinich was hospitalized with what his press office said was an ulcer. He said he would be away from City Hall for a least four more weeks, and is reportedly recuperating in Florida.
From his hospital bed, Kucinich named his long-time political ally, Jeffrey Fox, police chief, though Fox's only police experience is having passed a 120-hour law enforcement course. Fox succeeded former San Francisco sheriff Richard Hongisto, whose firing in March touched off the campaign to remove Kucinich from office.
Newspapers than disclosed that Fox has resigned in 1975 for a state hospital personnel job by mutual agreement with superintendent Dr. Barry I. Fireman, who said Fox was troubled with alcoholism and couldn't take pressure.
"I won't go into details of how, but I'm sober and leading a beautiful life," Fox said in response to the story.
On his first day in office, Fox learned that there was no money to meet the next payroll for 1,900 police officers, as the city faced a $34-million deficit and agonized over how to float $50 million in bonds in December with a crippled credit rating.
By shifting funds around, the police were finally paid, but no one knows where the cash is coming from for the police and firemen in the next pay period in two weeks.
On Oct. 26, a Common Pleads judge stripped the city of control of its 2-million-customer water system, criticizing the city for ignoring badly needed repairs and for raiding the water works treasury for loans to pay other city employes.
"This city's on the verge of a nervous breakdown," said William J. McNea, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, which has struck the city twice in the last year and has threatened a third work stoppage if payrolls are not met.