Since 1986 Jeff Fusco has worked for the city of Akron. That's 33 years he has made a GREAT living off of Akron tax payers.
In 2004, during that deputy service director stint, he was caught and convicted driving drunk in a city-owned car. That's an appointed 6 figure post. It's in the cabinet of the mayor. He was "punished" with a seven-week suspension from the city without pay.
These kind of incidents are great for the people in power. It makes the sinner much more loyal.
You can easily see that loyalty in 2015 when Jeff Fusco appointed Chris Ludle as the citys deputy public service director. The "interesting" part of that is that Chris Ludle also happens to be Mayor Horrigan's brother-in-law.
The first thing Dan Horrigan did was increase his cabinet with 3 more people than it had before he arrived. These are sweet deals. For example, Horrigan's brother-in-law, Chris Ludle, makes $106,454.
To put that a little in perspective, the median income in Akron is $36,223.
I just wanted to set the table so you can see the kind of nepotism and corruption that is how Akron has been run for the last 30 year. But really, that's not what I truly wanted to talk about.
None if this matters in his bid from re-election.
Jeff Fusco will easily win his re-election bid coming up in a few days. Akron city residents don't really get into the whole voting thing and caring about who runs their city or how it seriously effects their lives. A very few people just vote on who has the most signs in yards and who the newspaper tells them to vote for. Everybody else just sits the entire thing out.
I'm actually here to talk about addiction.
I have been racking my brain trying to think of any time EVER a person wouldn't immediately and permanently be fired if they were caught driving drunk in a company car. (If you know of any situation where you've heard of someone only getting a temporary break from work because they were driving drunk in a company car, please let me know.)
But this wasn't "just" a company car. It was a city vehicle. It was a vehicle bought directly from the citizens of Akron Ohio. YOU bought the car and someone else said, "Yeah, Jeff drove it drunk. But he's a good guy. We'll give him his car back AND his juicy salary in less than 2 months.
I wish I could say this is a wonderful example of forgiveness and understanding. What it is in reality is that they own Jeff Fusco for as long as he decides to work in the government. Hence, Jeff placing our current mayor's brother-in-law in a $106,000 appointed job.
While the motivation isn't pure, the fact that they let him keep his job is actually really cool.
We don't have that kind of forgiveness in America.
We are puritanical through and through. There is a moral code and if you don't abide by it you will be forever judged and shunned by society.
Ask any felon what it's like trying to live and get a decent job once they get out of prison.
Ask any drug addict what it's like dealing with family and friends (who aren't addicts) and society as a whole when they admit they have a problem with drugs.
America is unforgiving, brutally and permanently unforgiving.
Let me throw a word out there for you: Pedophile.
How does it make you feel?
I'm pretty sure it might be the easiest trigger word out there.
Those are likely some of the more tame feelings the word "pedophilia" brings out in you.
Never mind that actual science is showing that pedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. It's a condition that needs treatment aimed to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges. No intervention is likely to work on its own; outcomes may be better when the patient is motivated and treatment combines psychotherapy and medication.
That's the rational look at something we hate.
And the fact of the matter is, sexual crimes against U.S. children, as recorded by law enforcement agencies, declined 53% between 1992 and 2006. A review identified four possible explanations for the decline: economic growth, increased numbers of police and child protection workers, greater efforts to identify and prosecute child sex offenders of all types, and increased treatment of aggressive behavior.
If a person can't control their pedophilia actions because it is NOT A CHOICE, it's a sexual orientation, they need to be removed from society. But hating them is pointless. Science is showing they didn't choose to be a pedophile. They are cursed with it.
Hating people only makes things worse. You are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"I am a piece of shit and everyone tells me I'm a piece of shit so I might as well just continue being a piece of shit."
It's a wheel of negative behaviors powered by hate from society.
I got a DUI in college (for what it's worth, I don't have to tell you this, it's been expunged off my record).
I blew .246 - for the uninitiated, that's drunk as fuck.
Most people can't stand up at .246. But I was a professional.
The only reason I got pulled over was because I crossed the white line on the right side of the on ramp of Berea Ohio heading south on I-71. I saw that I did it. I was just lighting a cigarette.
I was a HIGHLY functional alcoholic.
I'm really thankful for getting my DUI.
I went to the 3 day intervention program. They taught me 2 things that always stuck with me:
I drove drunk all the time. And unlike the time I got caught, there were times where I couldn't see straight. I remember one time trying to find an on ramp in downtown Cleveland in a snow storm. That was probably the most drunk I ever was drinking and driving.
I am so thankful for my DUI because it was a wake up call. While I kept drinking, I never drove drunk again.
I don't think I would have been able to live with myself if I had hurt someone driving drunk.
Humans make mistakes. Humans are strange. Humans are easily addicted to many things, like drugs and alcohol (and sex and gambling).
If you don't believe humans are highly fallible and incredibly weak and driven by our most base instincts... you haven't been paying attention.
We are animals that happen to think. That's it. We are just barely this side of the animal kingdom. And it's OK.
With the right encouragement and love and support we can try to do better. But when we are hated and chastised and ridiculed, the storm is often too great to withstand. We just keep doing stupid shit.
The VAST majority of people are not evil. They are just doing the best they can.
I don't like Jeff Fusco. I don't believe you can trust a word that comes out of his mouth. I've seen him ignore and be completely rude to fellow council people. He's a pawn for the people actually in power and we'll never have any idea what he actually values other than staying in his seat on city council (unless something juicier comes along.)
But my sincere hope is that Jeff Fusco learned from his DUI. I deeply hope he never drove drunk again. And I hope he shared what he learned with people around him. That's all you can ask of any human being.
We are ALL deeply flawed and screwed up creatures. ALL OF US.
Those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But we do it all the time. It's just yet another deeply screwed up flaw in our human nature. And that's OK too. We just have to try to get a little better the next time we're challenged.