Home Cleveland Press Releases 2009 Independence Man Charged in Connection with Cuyahoga County Public Corruption Investigation

Independence Man Charged in Connection with Cuyahoga County Public Corruption Investigation

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 22, 2009
  • Northern District of Ohio (216) 622-3600

William J. Edwards, First Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio; C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI; and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, today announced that a one-count Information was filed charging Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office employee Joseph Gallucci, age 42, of Independence, Ohio, in connection with the Cuyahoga County public corruption investigation.

The Information charges Gallucci with participating in a bribery conspiracy that involved Gallucci running for a County office against PO2, staying in the race late enough to prevent Gallucci’s political party from replacing him on the ballot and then withdrawing from the race. In return, PO2 helped Gallucci receive a job at the Auditor’s Office. The Information further alleges that when Gallucci complained that he needed to withdraw from the political race and find employment, PO2 encouraged him to stay in the race long enough to preclude the opposing party from entering a replacement candidate, offering to subsidize Gallucci’s income until Gallucci began employment with the County.

The following were charged previously in connection with the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation:

DEFENDANT ROLE DATE CHARGED CASE STATUS
John Kevin Kelley Former Geographic Information Systems project manager, Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office Former President, Parma City School District Board of Education, Principal, J. Kevin Kelley Consulting, LLC 6/12/2009 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/1/2009
Kevin F. Payne Retired Chief of Staff, Engineer’s Office, Cuyahoga County 6/12/2009 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/1/2009
Daniel P. Gallagher Retired Chief of Staff, Engineer’s Office, Cuyahoga County Principal, The Eagle Group 6/12/2009 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/2/2009
Brian Schuman Former co-executive director, Alternatives Agency 6/12/2009 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/2/2009
Steven Wayne Pumper Chief Executive Officer, DAS Construction 7/8/2009 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/17/2009 $3,644.00 payment toward restitution 11/9/2009
Dennis Dooley Principal Office Assistant, Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office 7/22/2009 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009
John J. Carroll Former Vice President of Facilities and Construction Services 8/6/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009
Nilesh R. Patel Former Vice President of East West Construction Company 8/6/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009
Anthony C. Sinagra Former Mayor of Lakewood, Former Member of the Ohio State Senate, Principal of AC Sinagra & Associates 8/13/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 8/31/09
Santina Klimkowski Former elected member of the Maple Heights School Board of Education from 1981 to 2005 Former Department of Appraisal Specialist, Auditor’s Office 9/18/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 10/2/2009
Timothy Armstrong Attorney, Sole Practitioner 9/18/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/29/2009
Bruce Zaccagnini Partner, Belcuy Partners 9/18/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 10/2/09 $500,000 payment toward restitution 11/2/09
John Valentin Owner, Salva Stone Design 11/20/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 12/17/09
Dinesh Bafna President of Mont Granite 11/20/09 Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 12/8/09
Thomas Greco Retired, Former Agent of MetroHealth Systems 11/23/09 Arraignment 11/24/09 Plead Not Guilty 11/24/09
$1.95 Million Proceeds from Louis Damiani’s criminal activity Civil Forfeiture 12/11/09 Forfeiture filed 12/11/09

Mr. Figliuzzi said, “A rigged election is perhaps the most dramatic example of how corruption can erode the public trust and our system of government.”

“The investigation of Cuyahoga County government,” said Mr. Edwards, “has now gone beyond the corruption of contracts and employment to the corruption of a county election.”

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann C. Rowland and Antoinette T. Bacon, following investigation by the Cleveland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. The investigation is ongoing.

An Information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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