International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

THE LAST BOY SCOUT: ELIOT NESS’ TENURE AS CLEVELAND, OHIO’S PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR
George E. Richards

Abstract
Following the success and subsequent notoriety of Eliot Ness as a Prohibition agent in Chicago, Cleveland Mayor Harold Burton appointed Ness Director of Public Safety in December 1935. During this era, the Cleveland Department of Public Safety, particularly the police division, was considered to be one of the most corrupt in America. Burton, elected on a law-and-order platform, had sworn to rid Cleveland of dishonesty within city government and to stamp out the influence of organized crime. He chose Ness due to the latter’s reputation for integrity and innovation. This paper is an examination of Eliot Ness’s administration of the Cleveland, Ohio Department of Public Safety with an emphasis on his personal style of management and qualities of leadership.

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