East Cleveland Mayor Eric Brewer responds to racy photos sent to various media outlets.
"Are you all part of the Eric Brewer for governor campaign? You need a sex scandal if you want to get to the next level," Brewer said to reporters as he arrived at his campaign headquarters on Euclid Avenue for a Thursday morning news conference.
Mayor Brewer answered no questions, but talked to reporters about potentially embarrassing pictures released to the media days before the city's mayoral election on Tuesday.
"I apologize to the residents of East Cleveland for the embarrassment my opponent's gutter campaign tactics have caused our city," Brewer said.
Wednesday, an anonymous source e-mailed nearly four dozen pictures to Fox 8 and other media outlets. They show a person, who the e-mailer claims is Mayor Brewer, dressed in women's lingerie, makeup and a wig, in numerous poses... some too graphic for us to air.
Brewer will not confirm or deny whether the photos are of him.
"While I am not, and will not authenticate any of the pictures, since it appears as that they and the e-mail that my opponent has caused to be distributed are personal in nature, the fact is they are embarrassing to our city," said Brewer.
Supporters and critics clashed after the news conference. "He has cleaned up these streets," said resident Bernice Ewing.
"He's done nothing for East Cleveland, nothing," responded a man nearby.
"I knew about them a couple of years ago, but I never said anything about it," said Brewer's opponent, Gary Norton, referring to the pictures.
Norton denies having anything to do with releasing the pictures.
"We've run a clean, above board campaign, we intended to do that all the way through, we never would've put anything out like this," Norton said.
Mayor Brewer also claims members of his own police department are releasing the pictures. He believes they're angry about his crackdown on police misconduct.
The East Cleveland police union released a statement, saying "the police union, nor its members had anything to do with the dissemination of any of the obscene photographs alleged of Mayor Brewer."
We showed the pictures to some East Cleveland residents. Most felt the pictures resembled Brewer. And most of them, whether a supporter or a critic, say they won't judge him by the pictures.
"Everybody got their prerogative, but he should've kept that in the closet," said East Cleveland resident Eric Wright.
"A lot of people that out here hollering, they probably did worse things that they're showing that he did, he just got exposed, a lot of us don't," said Charles Holmes.
Mayor Brewer is away from city hall for several days, planning funeral arrangements for his father, who died Wednesday afternoon.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times