Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish releases Ed FitzGerald's key-card records that were subject of public records fight with GOP

From The Plain Dealer Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish on Wednesday evening released records recording the dates and times when his predecessor, Ed FitzGerald, swiped his employee key card while on county premises during the last 18 months.

"In light of the fact that former Executive FitzGerald no longer uses County facilities on a regular basis, the Sheriff's Department has concluded that release of the information does not now pose the same security risks it did in 2014," Emily Lundgard, a county spokeswoman, said in an email.

After opting to run for governor rather than seek re-election, FitzGerald's last day in office was Dec. 31.

Last year, FitzGerald refused to release the records. County Sheriff Frank Bova, who reported to FitzGerald, said releasing the records could help establish a pattern of FitzGerald's whereabouts, which could put him in danger.

County spokesman Dennis Willard said it remains to be seen what impact the release of the records has on an ongoing public records lawsuit by the Ohio Republican Party before the Ohio Supreme Court. The GOP sued last July after FitzGerald, then a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, refused to provide the records to NEOMG.

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