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Carleton "Carty" S. Finkbeiner (born May 30, 1939, in Toledo, Ohio) is a Democratic Party (United States) politician and former mayor of Toledo, Ohio. First elected in 1993, he took office on January 1, 1994. In 1997, he defeated challenger Nick Wichowski to win a second term. Term limits prevented him from running a third consecutive time. He was succeeded by former mayor Jack Ford in 2002. Following his first administration, Finkbeiner served on the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board.[citation needed] He joined the ABC affiliate in Toledo and hosted Carty & Company, a Sunday morning public affairs show. He also contributed a weekly editorial segment, It's Just Not Right! Finkbeiner left WTVG in May 2005.[citation needed]

Carleton S. Finkbeiner
Mayor of Toledo, Ohio
Mayor of Toledo, Ohio
In office
January 1, 1994 – 2002
Preceded byJohn McHugh
Succeeded byJack Ford
In office
January 3, 2006 – January 4, 2010
Preceded byJack Ford
Succeeded byMichael P. Bell
Personal details
Born (1939-05-30) May 30, 1939 (age 80)
Toledo, Ohio
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Amy Finkbeiner
ResidenceToledo, Ohio, United States
Alma materDenison University

On June 30, 2005, Finkbeiner announced that he would seek a third term as mayor. He won the Toledo mayoral primary, winning roughly 37% of the vote in comparison to 29% earned by incumbent Ford. On November 8, 2005, Finkbeiner was re-elected mayor. Finkbeiner was sworn in for his third term as mayor in a private ceremony on January 3, 2006. Carty announced that his third run as mayor would be his final one and he would not seek re-election. According to city finance records verified by the Toledo Blade Finkbeiner left the city with a 48 million dollar deficit[1] which was inherited by Ohio Fire Marshall Michael P. Bell, an Independent, who succeeded Carty Finkbiener in 2010.

Finkbeiner resides with his wife, Amy Finkbeiner, in South Toledo. He has three children: Ryan, Jenny, and Katie, and five grandchildren.[citation needed]

Carlton Finkbeiner announced plans to run for a fourth term as mayor of Toledo on August 29, 2015.[citation needed]


Finkbeiner was born in 1939 and raised in Toledo. He graduated from Maumee Valley Country Day School and received a B.A. from Denison University in Granville. Prior to his political career, he taught at Maumee Valley Country Day School, St. Francis de Sales High School, and the University of Toledo.[citation needed]

During his long career in public service, Carty has been a member of multiple parties. At various times and for various offices he has run as a Republican, a Democrat and an Independent. Finkbeiner served eight years as a city councilman and two years as deputy mayor.[citation needed]


Several controversies have occurred during Finkbeiner's involvement in public office:

  • Toledo restaurateur John Skiadas filed a lawsuit alleging that Finkbeiner physically and verbally assaulted him at the Erie Street Market in 2000. The lawsuit was dismissed by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Wittenberg in 2004.[2][3]
  • In March, 1999, Finkbeiner called for a boycott of Little Caesar's Pizza because of the franchise owners’ involvement in a proposed Rossford sports arena. Some Little Caesar's stores renamed their Crazy Bread “Carty Bread”.[4]
  • In 1997, the Finkbeiner Administration negotiated to convert the Beacon Place Apartments, an apartment complex in the Warren-Sherman neighborhood near downtown Toledo, into condominiums. Despite assurances from Finkbeiner's housing commissioner, James Thurston, that the city would not be held financially responsible for the project, the project collapsed because the Finkbeiner Administration failed to clear the sale of the properties with the federal government, which had financed the apartments. Toledo taxpayers lost $230,000 and could have paid more than $2.3 million. Thurston and Edwin Bergsmark (CEO of Cavista Corporation, the owner of the Beacon Place Apartments) were both convicted in this scandal.[5]
  • He plagiarized a single line in his KICK-OFF speech in 1998.[6]
  • In early 2006, political adversaries scoffed over the mayor spending $9,996 of city money to complete the installation of shower facilities in his city government building office. The project was considered "controversial" in part because the shower quote was originally $10,006, six dollars over a threshold that requires approval from City Council. The contractor was able to shave $10 from the project, thus avoiding a Council vote on the proposal.[7]
  • In May 2006, he called Toledo's African American Fire Chief Michael Bell "King Kong" at a staff meeting. Finkbeiner later clarified his remarks as relating to the Chief's physical stature, and Chief Bell has acknowledged in public that he took no offense to the remarks.[8]
  • In June 2006, Jack Smith resigned from his brief tenure as Chief of Police after what he described as a near-physical confrontation with the mayor after they exchanged words.[9]
  • In February 2008, Finkbeiner refused to let a company of 200 Marine Corps Reservists engage in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.[10] Toledo police knew about the event three days in advance, but it wasn't until the Marines arrived that "the mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people", said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.[11] Finkbeiner defended his decision to cancel the exercise, but in an e-mail to Marine Corps officials, he expressed support for the Marines and the military and invited the Marine unit to return to Toledo for training, but not downtown. In reaction to the uproar, Finkbeiner has offered conflicting explanations for his denial. During a radio interview on The Frank Beckmann Show on WJR-760 AM in Detroit on Tuesday, Feb. 12th, Finkbeiner used profanity to describe the situation he caused as a "fucking ruckus".[12]
  • In summer 2008, Finkbeiner spent nearly $80,000 of taxpayer money (without City Council approval) to renovate Bay 4 the Erie Street Market into a concert venue. According to the City Charter, the mayor may spend up to $10,000 without City Council approval. Finkbeiner broke the nearly $80,000 into 13 separate contracts under $10,000 to circumvent council's approval. Moreover, Finkbeiner tapped a local concert promoter, Rob Croak, to schedule events at the Erie Street Market. Croak was convicted on one count of forgery and has been arrested for but not convicted of underage alcohol sales, according to court records. The forgery conviction stems from a 2001 accusation that Croak falsified records to obtain a liquor permit.[13] Also, Croak owes thousands of dollars in back state and federal taxes.[14]
  • In 2009, Take Back Toledo (a group of Toledo area businessmen whose goal is to foster a pro-business, pro-jobs and pro-economic development climate in Northwestern Ohio) led a campaign to recall Finkbeiner from office. On April 15, the Lucas County Board of Elections validated 20,400 signature, enough to recall Finkbeiner.[citation needed] On April 20, Clerk of Council Jerry Dendinger hand-delivered a recall notice to Finkbeiner. According to the City Charter, Finkbeiner had five days to resign or face a recall vote on the November election.[15] Finkbeiner refused to resign and hired a law firm to contest the validity of the recall petition signatures.[16] The Supreme Court of Ohio ultimately ruled that due to missing language in the recall petition, that it was invalid.[17][18]
  • In June 2009, Finkbeiner supported the $25 parking tickets issued by the Division of Streets, Bridges, and Harbor to residents for parking in their own driveways. He claimed the tickets were given due to a city law that prohibits parking on unpaved surfaces, which includes gravel driveways. Two major problems with the tickets were that the city law that had not been enforced for about 50 years was now suddenly being enforced without warning and that according to the Toledo City Charter only the Toledo Police Dept can issue tickets for parking, traffic, etc. and not representatives of other city agencies. Despite criticism, Finkbeiner ignored a press question asking if the fines were related to the city's financial woes.[19]
  • In June 2009, a video surfaced showing Finkbeiner breaking up a fight in Highland Park, calling one boy "fatso", "tubby", and "fat ass".[20]


  1. ^ Messina, Ignazio (2013-10-11). "Records support mayor on city's $48M deficit". The Blade. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  2. ^ Troy, Tom (2005-05-13). "Erie Street Market restaurant shuts down". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  3. ^ Reiter, Mark (2004-11-25). "Judge dismisses lawsuit filed against Finkbeiner". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  4. ^ Troy, Tom (2005-11-03). "Foes say Finkbeiner's 'passion' is really just abusive behavior". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2010-06-01.
  5. ^ Troy, Tom; Mahr, Joe (2001-12-16). "A look back at the Carty years". The Blade. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  6. ^ Vezner, Tad (2005-07-16). "Finkbeiner owns up to lifting quote". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  7. ^ Troy, Tom (2006-02-25). "Finkbeiner defends $9,996 shower stall". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  8. ^ "Carty's slip of the tongue". The Blade. 2006-05-31. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  9. ^ Hall, Christina (2006-07-01). "Navarre glad to be back". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  10. ^ Philips, Darsha (2008-02-09). "Mayor kicks Marines out of Toledo". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10.
  11. ^ Reindl, J.C. (2008-02-09). "Mayor to Marines: Leave downtown". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2015-10-10.
  12. ^ Messina, Ignazio (2008-02-15). "Toledo mayor's profanity aired on live radio in Detroit". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2016-03-06.
  13. ^ Messina, Ignazio (2008-08-01). "Erie Street Market shows will go on, city leaders say". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10.
  14. ^ "Erie Street Market update". WTVG. 2008-08-13. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04.
  15. ^ "Clerk hand-delivers recall notice to Mayor Finkbeiner". WTOL. 2009-04-20. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  16. ^ Troy, Tom (2009-04-20). "Mayor Finkbeiner won't resign; says recall signatures insufficient". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10.
  17. ^ Provance, Jim (2009-07-28). "Justices halt Finkbeiner recall effort". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2014-12-26.
  18. ^ Winger, Richard (2009-07-28). "Ohio Recall Petition Invalidated Because of Missing Sentence". Ballot Access News.
  19. ^ "Ohioans ticketed for parking in own driveways". Associated Press. Yahoo News. 2009-06-16. Archived from the original on 2009-06-19.
  20. ^ Messina, Ignazio (2009-06-18). "Toledo mayor captured on video calling teen 'fatso' at Highland Park". The Blade. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10.