Cincinnati city manager: 'I am here to stay'

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black says he isn't going anywhere.

"I am here to stay," he said at City Hall Wednesday. "The forces that are out there are going to continue what they are doing. They will basically use innuendo, conjecture, greatly embellishing what might be factual as a means of tarnishing my character and my reputation. I am prepared to struggle through that, keep the city focused and working forward and we'll see what happens at the end of the day."

His remarks came after every single one of the more than dozen speakers addressing City Council as they met for the first time since Mayor John Cranley asked Black to resign last week overwhelmingly supported him.

Several of those who spoke said the public dispute over Black's employment should end for the good of the city.

They described Black as hard-working, revolutionary, successful and courageous.

"Mayor Cranley, to you, what I am asking is that you put your ego aside," said Kelli Prather, a West Price Hill who unsuccessfully ran for City Council last fall. She is active with local civil rights organizations supporting Black such as Cincinnati NAACP and Black United Front.

Prather looked directly at Black and urged him: "You have to look out for the people who look out for you."

"Cincinnati is getting a history of kicking out black people or blaming them for something," one man told Council. "The city manger found some problems in the police department. That's what we should be investigating if that is true....Do something about the corruption, not the person who reported it."

The mayor adjourned the meeting without making a comment. Council Members also were mum.

Cranley is holding a press conference  at 3:30 p.m.

FOX19 NOW will continue to update this story.

Previous stories:

City's first black police chief 'taken aback' at claims of racism, 'rogue element' in CPD

City Manager: Feds should investigate 'rogue element' in Cincinnati Police Department

FOX19 NOW will continue to update this breaking news story.

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