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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Monday, October 28, 2013

Former County Worker And School Board Member Sentenced To Four Years In Prison For Accepting Bribes

Former Cuyahoga County employee and Maple Heights school board member Santina “Sandy” Klimkowski was sentenced to four years in prison today for her role in the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal, federal law enforcement officials announced today.

Klimkowski, 61, of Maple Heights, previously pleaded guilty to after previously pleading Hobbs Act conspiracy, bribery, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, making false statements, tax charges and other crimes.

Klimkowski participated in a scheme with then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo in which contracts for commercial appraisal work went to a company that paid bribes to Russo, a portion of which went to Klimkowski. She also got cash and home repairs in exchange for using her position on the school board to steer construction contracts to contractors who paid bribes to her, according to court documents.

She was also ordered to pay $270,302 in restitution. That money will go to Cuyahoga County ($154,000), Maple Heights City Schools ($83,414) and the Internal Revenue Service ($32,888).

“Klimkowski is yet another individual uncovered in a lengthy public corruption investigation that was portraying herself as a public servant through her employment while defrauding the citizens of our community,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office. “The FBI and its partners will continue to root out public corruption, bringing the individuals involved to justice, as demonstrated with more than 60 convictions in this investigation.”

More than 60 people – including two judges, the county auditor and a former county commissioner -- have been convicted in the federal investigation into corruption in Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga County is the largest county in Ohio and includes Cleveland.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy L. Kelley and  Antoinette T. Bacon following an investigation by the FBI and IRS – Criminal Investigation.

Updated March 12, 2015