CLEVELAND - A politically connected businessman in Cleveland has been indicted in a federal investigation of Cuyahoga County government corruption.
The one-count racketeering indictment against Hamdi "Sam" Qasem was announced Thursday by federal prosecutors.
The government says he was a go-between, arranging jobs for friends in return for kickbacks to top county officials, like then-County Auditor Frank Russo, from 1998 to 2008.
Prosecutors unsealed the indictment after Qasem's arrest Thursday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
A federal magistrate judge in Fort Myers, Fla., released Qasem on bond and said a public defender would be appointed.
There is no phone listing for Qasem in Cleveland or Port Charlotte.
More than 40 people, including a former county auditor, contractors and government employees, have pleaded guilty in the three-year investigation.
The Associated Press