EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) - A long-impoverished Cleveland suburb could become the first municipality in Ohio to file for bankruptcy protection as its prospects for recovering from its fiscal slide appear dim.

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) A long-impoverished Cleveland suburb could become the first municipality in Ohio to file for bankruptcy protection as its prospects for recovering from its fiscal slide appear dim.

East Cleveland has been under a state-ordered fiscal emergency since 2012 that requires a state-appointed commission to oversee the city's finances and to devise a recovery plan. State officials, including the Ohio auditor, are uncertain as to how East Cleveland can recover given its prospects.

This city of 17,000 has seen its tax base eroded by the loss of two of its biggest employers and a property reappraisal that reflected the lack of a real estate market in the city and stubborn blight.

Mayor Gary Norton says bankruptcy is one of the options being considered.