Tom Ganley

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Thomas D. "Tom" Ganley (December 11, 1942 – August 24, 2016) was an American businessman and politician who was an unsuccessful Republican congressional candidate.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Tom Ganley was born on December 11, 1942[2] and was an Ohio native. As a member of the first graduating class of St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford, Ohio, he became the first inductee into the school's hall of fame.[3]

Ganley grew up in a middle class home in Garfield Heights, Bedford, Ohio. His father was a mechanic on Brunswick automatic pin setting machines and his mother was a waitress. Although his parents were not well educated, they stressed education for their son.[3]

Business career[edit]

Ganley began selling motor vehicles as a part-time job while still a student at Chanel High School in Bedford, Ohio. He purchased his first new vehicle dealership in Euclid, Ohio in 1968.

After purchasing that first dealership, Eastway Rambler, Tom in 1975, purchased an AMC-Jeep store in North Olmsted. In 1978 Ganley became the owner of Ganley Lincoln-Mercury in Middleburg Heights, Budget Rent-A-Car at Cleveland Hopkins Airport and Ganley Dodge of Bedford. In 1979 he added Ganley Oldsmobile in Lakewood, which, eventually became Ganley Subaru-Suzuki. During the recession of 1980-1981 Ganley consolidated the growth of his various businesses. In 1982, he added Budget Rent-A-Car of Akron, and in 1983 Ganley added Parma Imports and in 1984 Ganley Dodge West was added.[4]

Ganley Automotive Group[edit]

Tom Ganley now[when?] oversees the largest automotive group in Ohio, comprising 32 dealerships, employing over 1000 people.[5]

Ganley has expanded his dealerships into Summit and Stark counties and has established the Ganley name in Greater Columbus with the establishment of a Mitsubishi dealership. The company continues to grow and now includes Chevrolet, Ford, and Chrysler as well as dealerships selling imports such as Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, and BMW.[4]

In 2005, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro took legal action against one of Ganley's dealerships, Ganley Ford West Inc. of Cleveland, for allegedly deceptive and unfair business practices in its advertising. Two days after Hurricane Katrina, the dealership had advertised special deals on cars moved out of Louisiana. After complaints from the Better Business Bureau, Petro initiated an investigation and found that Ganley had not received any cars from Louisiana.[6]

Ganley has been sued more than 400 times in connection with his auto dealerships for complaints including age discrimination, gender discrimination and deceptive business practices.[7][8][9] In April 2011, Ganley agreed to pay $300,000 to current and former black employees to settle a 2007 racial discrimination case.[10]

Other business interests[edit]

Ganley has extended his business interests to include one of[weasel words] the largest independently owned auto financing companies in the nation as well as an insurance company. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Independence Bank.[which?][citation needed]

Political campaigns[edit]

2010 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

Ganley formally announced his candidacy for the United States Senate (Ohio) on July 1, 2009. In making his announcement Ganley stated "I am a businessman, not someone who ever thought about being a professional politician, but maybe that's what's needed in Washington now–someone who understands financial responsibility and what it takes for a business and a country to be competitive. Someone who has built a business from scratch. Someone who knows how to create jobs. Someone who has met a payroll and knows his employees are dependent on him."[11]

Ganley had talked openly earlier that year of his desire to enter the race for the United States Senate in order to give Ohio voters a clear choice.[12]

Although Ganley had never served in elected office, he believed that he could win the Senate seat being vacated by George V. Voinovich.[citation needed] Ganley said "I have a great passion to see this through to a conclusion, to a victory."[citation needed] Ganley, because of his involvement in the business community in Ohio, had name recognition in northern Ohio.[citation needed] He said that America needs businessmen in Washington, D.C. and that he believed the time of the career politician may be ending.[citation needed]

2010 U.S. Congressional campaign[edit]

On February 18, 2010 Ganley made the decision to end his bid for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate from Ohio and instead devote his energy to running for Congress in the 13th District of Ohio against incumbent Betty Sutton. Ganley filed petition with the Summit County elections board to run for the House seat, immediately making the contest a toss-up.[13]

On July 13, 2010, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) announced that Tom Ganley had advanced to the top level of the Young Guns Program of the NRCC. According to the NRCC "Ganley has proven his ability to build a winning campaign and achieve substantial fundraising goals."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched attacks against Ganley, accusing him of being a dishonest car salesman[9] attempting to buy his way into Congress.[14] Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Stephen Loomis responded to that charge by pointing out that Ganley is a major supporter of police charities and regularly donates his private plane to bring out-of-town family members to the funerals or bedsides of fallen local police officers. Loomis was quoted as saying “Don’t let them beat him up too badly about having a corporate airplane because he uses it selflessly. It is unfair if they are trying to portray him as some kind of corporate, egomaniac, big money guy.” [14]

Ganley easily won the Republican primary on May 4, 2010.[15] Shortly before the primary, Ganley received the endorsement of Ohio’s Morning Journal newspaper.[16]

Ganley also received the endorsement of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.[17]

Sutton defeated Ganley 60.3% to 39.6% in the November 2, 2010 general election.[18]

Role in taking down the Cleveland Mob[edit]

According to Ganley, in the 1980s the Cleveland mafia attempted to extort Ganley for $500,000. Ganley began to cooperate with the Cleveland division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation after his refusal to pay and Ganley was messaged[clarification needed] he was to be killed. Ganley was provided money by the FBI to pay off the mob, and had his phone tapped, and cameras and recording equipment installed in his offices.[19] After Ganley became known to be cooperating with the FBI, the mafia put a $1,000,000 contract on Ganley and his family.[20] The FBI provided Ganley with an armored, bullet and bomb proof car, and moved agents into his home for his protection. One of those agents was Joseph Pistone, the subject of the 1997 Johnny Depp and Al Pacino film Donnie Brasco. Ganley's cooperation led to conviction of over 20 Cleveland mafia figures.[21] For his work in the fight against the Cleveland mob Ganley was awarded the Louis E. Peters Memorial Service Award by the Society of Former Special Agents.[citation needed]

Ganley appeared on the Fox News Network show “Huckabee” as a guest of former Governor Mike Huckabee to talk about his involvement in the FBI operation against the Cleveland mafia. Appearing with him on that show was FBI special agent Bob Friedman. Ganley said “If I didn’t back down to the mafia when they were threatening my entire family I am certainly not going to back down in Congress.”[22]

Dismissal of sexual assault charges and lawsuit[edit]

On September 30, 2010, a 39-year-old Cleveland woman filed a lawsuit against Ganley in civil court, accusing him of sexual assault and attempted rape.[23] The lawsuit alleges that Ganley propositioned and groped the woman, whom he met at a Tea Party rally, when she approached him about volunteering for his campaign.[24] She later amended the complaint to include employment discrimination, based on her claim that Ganley wouldn't give her a job because she refused his sexual advances.[25] Ganley's attorney said that the charges amounted to extortion and that they were motivated by politics. The woman, a Republican Tea Party activist,[citation needed] sought more than $25,000 in damages.[23] On March 15, 2011 a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Ganley on seven counts, including three counts of gross sexual imposition, one count of kidnapping, one count of abduction, one count of soliciting and one count of menacing by stalking. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor dropped the charges in July, 2011 after the victim expressed a desire not to go to trial.[26]

Ganley called the accusations "lies, slander and false", and "has maintained his innocence and said that the accusations are being made for political or financial gain."[27][28]

In 2013, the suit was settled and the case dismissed, with Ganley continuing to vehemently deny wrongdoing. The terms of the settlement were not made public; Ganley was charged for the court costs.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Ganley and his wife Lois have been married for 45 years[when?] and are the parents of four children, Denise, Thomas, Robert and Kenneth. The Ganleys also have eight grandchildren. Of the Ganley’s four children, all have worked in the family business “The Ganley Automotive Group”, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. Three of the children are still employed by the family business.[5] Ganley died on August 24, 2016 at the age of 73.[30]

Community involvement[edit]

Ganley has served as the spokesperson for "Buckle-Up Cleveland," an automotive safety initiative, sponsored by the Cleveland Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. In May 2001 he was named President and CEO of Crime Stoppers of Northern Ohio. This organization funded, in part, by Mr. Ganley, as well as private donations, offers cash rewards for crime tipsters.[31]

Ganley was named "Man of the Year" by the Cuyahoga County Police Chiefs Association for his leadership and outstanding support of law enforcement in the Cleveland area. Other special recognition awards were received from the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate for outstanding accomplishment, the "Gold & Silver Award" from the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Community and the honor of being the Cleveland Police Historical Society's Man of the Year. Tom also received the Louis E. Peters Memorial Service Award from an FBI alumni society in 2007.[5]

Ganley also remained active in the business community. He represents metropolitan Cleveland's franchised new car dealers on the National Automobile Dealers Association. He served on the Association's Regulation Affairs Committee and as Mercedes-Benz Chairman of the Industry Relations Committee. Previously, he has served on the Government Relations Committee.[31]


  1. ^ Scott Shaw; PD file (2009-10-13). "Car dealer Tom Ganley reveals his financial health in U.S. Senate bid". Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Thomas D. Ganley". 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2010-08-21. [unreliable source?]
  4. ^ a b Cymerman, Abby “2004 Entrepreneur of the Year: Thomas D. Ganley, Driving motivation”, “Smart Business Cleveland, July 1, 2004
  5. ^ a b c “Tom Ganley for Congress: About”,[unreliable source?] Archived April 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Ohio Stops Ford Dealer's Deceptive Katrina Ads". Consumer Affairs. 2005-09-24. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  7. ^ "While touting their business records, Tom Ganley and Jim Renacci also must defend them". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Democrats seek to highlight lawsuits in Sutton-Ganley Race". 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  9. ^ a b "Democrats Dig Up Ganley Dirt in Ohio, Air It". Roll Call. 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  10. ^ Robert Schoenberger (20 April 2011). "Ganley to pay $300,000 to settle racial discrimination case at Bedford Lincoln Mercury store". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Cleveland Area Car Dealer Tom Ganley Formally Announces US Senate Bid", “Cleveland Leader”. July 1, 2009
  12. ^ Miller, Jay “Auto Dealer Tom Ganley to run for U.S. Senate”, “Crains Cleveland business”, July 1, 2009
  13. ^ Warsmith, Stephanie, “Tom Ganley files to run for the U.S. House seat in 13th District”, “The Ohio Beacon-Journal”, February 18, 2010
  14. ^ a b "Democrats accuse Tom Ganley of trying to buy congressional election". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  15. ^, “Tom Ganley wins Republican primary”, “”, May 4, 2010
  16. ^ “Our View: Tom Ganley best GOP choice to challenge Sutton in 13th District”, “The Morning Journal”, April 11, 2010
  17. ^ Huck PAC “Huck PAC Endorses Tom Ganley For Congress in Ohio”, “Huck PAC”, May 20, 2010
  18. ^ Ellin Walsh (7 November 2010). "Sutton Defeats Ganley to retain Congressional seat". Falls News Press. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  19. ^ “”. "Tom Ganley on Huckabee". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  20. ^ "GOP congressional candidate Tom Ganley appears on Huckabee show: video". Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  21. ^ Fish, Sandra (2010-07-31). "Ohio Candidate Tom Ganley Tells of Role in Taking Down the Mob". Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  22. ^ Ohio College GOP,“Another Young Gun Contender, Tom Ganley, appears on Huckabee to talk about run for Congress and taking on the Mob”, Ohio College GOP”,
  23. ^ a b Mark Naymik (2010-09-30). "Lawsuit accuses Tom Ganley of sexual assault; his lawyer calls suit extortion". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  24. ^ "Ohio House candidate sued for sexual harassment". Associated Press. 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  25. ^ "Tom Ganley's sex assault accuser lodges employment discrimination claims". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  26. ^ "Ganley charges dropped". Assistant County Prosecutor Blaise Thomas says, "After further investigating the case of State v Ganley and consulting with the victim, this office made a determination to dismiss the case. This decision represents the desire of the victim not to go forward to trial. A motion was filed today with the court to enter a dismissal of the case without prejudice." [dead link][dead link]
  27. ^ James F. McCarty (March 15, 2011). "Cuyahoga County grand jury files 7-count indictment against auto dealer Tom Ganley, accusing him of sexual imposition". Cleveland: The Plain Dealer. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  28. ^ Mike Waterhouse (July 15, 2011). "Tom Ganley's sex charges dropped by Cuyahoga County prosecutors". NewsNet5. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 
  29. ^ Dicken, Brad (12 June 2013). "Sexual harassment lawsuit against Tom Ganley settled". The Chronicle-Telgram. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  30. ^ NE Ohio businessman Tom Ganley has died
  31. ^ a b NADA Leadership, “Thomas D. Ganley - National Automobile Dealers Association - Board of Directors - Metro Cleveland”, NADA, 2010

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