Mayor Bibb Appoints Chief Ethics Officer, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Senior Strategist for Lead
Friday, April 1, 2022 - Cleveland, OH — Mayor Justin M. Bibb has appointed Delanté Spencer Thomas, Esq. as the City’s Chief Ethics Officer and Assistant Director of Law, Tyson T. Mitchell, JD/LL.M as Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) and Karen Dettmer as Senior Strategist for Lead.
As the City’s first-ever Chief Ethics Officer, Delanté Spencer Thomas will be responsible for actively promoting and maintaining a strong culture of ethics awareness and compliance within the Executive Branch of city government and will serve as chief ethics advisor to the Mayor and the Law Director.
He will also guide all employees and members of boards and commissions that report to the Mayor on ethics and conflicts of interest, serve as the liaison between the City and the Ohio Ethics Commission and develop and proactively train elected City officials and City employees on compliance with ethics laws and ethical conduct.
“I welcome the appointment of the city’s first Chief Ethics Officer,” said Mayor Justin M. Bibb. “This role is key to advancing our mission of a modern, responsive and transparent City Hall. Delanté’s leadership and expertise will help us make sure we are working at the highest standards of accountability and integrity.”
The City’s new OEO Director, Tyson Mitchell, is responsible for administering, monitoring, and enforcing overall contract compliance goals and requirements and serves as an advocate for business inclusion and resident employment within the community. Reporting to the Mayor and the Chief Legal Officer, Tyson will develop and implement programs that increase opportunities for equity and inclusion in City contracting and providing wealth-building opportunities to residents.
As the new Senior Strategist for the Lead Safe Program, Karen Dettmer will work with city departments, external partners, and community members to prevent lead exposure and address the impact of such exposure with a particular focus on children, including programming, services, and investments related to primary prevention and early intervention of lead exposure. Karen has an interdepartmental purview and will convene and coordinate leadership from departments of Building and Housing, Public Health, Community Development, and other entities and personnel within the City on matters related to lead exposure.
“We continue to focus on filling key positions to reimagine how city hall operates, break down silos and better connect departments,” Mayor Bibb said. “We have great new talent in both Tyson and Karen and I am looking forward to working with them toward our vision for a more equitable and healthier Cleveland.”
ABOUT THE NEW HIRES:
Delanté Spencer Thomas, Esq. is a licensed attorney and native of East Cleveland, Ohio. He most recently spent five years with the Cuyahoga County Agency of Inspector General, where he served as Ethics Counsel and Deputy Inspector General. There, he was instrumental in building an ethics education program in Cuyahoga County for a workforce of over 5000 employees. He conducted countywide ethics training, issued advice, investigated complaints, and created educational content to assist government officials and employees minimize and eliminate risks of fraud, corruption, and other acts of misconduct.
He serves as President of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, the first and premier organization for Black legal professionals in Northeast Ohio. He also sits on the boards of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association and the Towards Employment Young Professionals. Delanté has also served as an adjunct faculty professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, teaching courses in Bar Exam Strategies and Housing Law.
A Shaw High School graduate, he went on to attend Syracuse University earning both a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management and a Master’s degree in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He returned to Cleveland in 2011 where he earned his law degree and second masters in Labor Relations & Human Resources from Cleveland State University.
Tyson T. Mitchell, JD/LL.M most recently served as Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) for OhioGuidestone, a nonprofit organization that provides mental health and other social services throughout Ohio. He is also an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he developed the poverty law and advocacy curriculum for second and third-year law students.
At OhioGuidestone, Tyson led the establishment and implementation of the organization’s inaugural inclusion and diversity initiatives, developed unconscious bias training sessions, created an Educational Assistance program for members of historically underrepresented groups, launched a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) recruitment initiative and organized regional DEI committees to focus on local and unique needs of the organization’s satellite offices. These efforts increased OhioGuidestone’s DEI community scorecard by 30 percent.
A dynamic and innovative DEI professional, Tyson brings years of experience managing, implementing, and supporting complex strategies, programs, training, and organizational initiatives that cut across leadership, HR, communications and community relations. He holds a JD and Master of Law in Taxation from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, a BA in History from Morehouse College and a certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida. Tyson also studied international taxation and professional responsibility at the Oxford University School of Law - St. Anne’s College in Oxford, England.
Karen Dettmer has been involved with the State of Ohio’s lead initiatives and programs for more than 25 years. Most recently, she served as the Program Manager for the Lead Safe Living Program for the City of Cleveland Public Health Department. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing lead prevention efforts, lead inspection and health initiatives for the city. Previously she worked for lead programs for Erie County and the City of Lorain.
In the senior strategist for lead role, Karen will focus on improving the communication and coordination across city departments responsible for addressing the lead problem as well as connecting with community outreach programs.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Karen moved to the Cleveland area in 1987 and has been a part of the community ever since, having lived both the eastern suburbs as well as in the West Park neighborhood. Karen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Randolph Macon Women’s College.