LIVE VIDEO: Channel 3 News at 6 p.m.    Watch
 

Feds: Four plead guilty today in Cuyahoga County corruption probe

7:50 PM, Jul 1, 2010   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Sharon L. Long, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in the Northern District of Ohio, said the defendants are Christopher Krause, 52, of Hudson; Giacanto Vaccarella, 52, of North Royalton; Rocky Laurie, 51, of Mayfield Heights; and Todd Gemma, 40, of Solon.

Krause, the former treasurer of the Maple Heights City Schools (MHCS), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Vaccarella, the former director of building and grounds for the MHCS, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

Laurie, the former business manager of the MHCS, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony and one count of making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Gemma, a principal of Gemma Development Company, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

All four men pleaded guilty to criminal informations that were filed in May.

According to federal officials, the conduct detailed in the information filed against Krause, Vaccarella and a person identified as Public Employee 16 included selling a MHCS-owned 47-foot Bil-Jax boom lift for $7,200 in April 2008 and splitting the proceeds among themselves.

Krause and Laurie, in their professional capacities at MHCS, procured items for their personal use and the personal use of others, including Santina Klimkowski and Louis C. Damiani.

The items were from Sam's Club, GFS and others, according to the information.

Krause also obtained a sump pump, power washer, generator, weed whacker, backpack leaf blower, other miscellaneous tools, electronic items and bottled water valued at approximately $4,300, according to the information.

Krause also accepted cash, a John Deere tractor, landscaping services, painting work, a furnace, gasoline gift cards and other items of value between 2005 and 2008 in return for business and contracts from the MHCS, according to the information.

Gemma gave Krause a $5,000 cash bribe in return for MHCS contracts valued at $87,200, according to the information.

Sentencing dates will be determined later.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ann C. Rowland and Antoinette Thomas Bacon following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

WKYC-TV

Most Watched Videos