Former Strongsville councilman Patrick J. Coyne arrested

5:34 PM, May 9, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Former Strongsville City Councilman Patrick J. Coyne turned himself in to federal authorities today and was arrested and appeared Monday afternoon in federal court.

Coyne, 52, appeared before U.S. District magistrate William H. Baughman Jr. in Cleveland.

He was released on $50,000 bond and must wear a GPS locator band on his ankle while on house arrest. (The traditional ankle monitor could not be used as it requires a landline telephone at the home and Coyne does not have a landline.)

Coyne was represented by attorney Craig Weintraub. Weintraub said he and Coyne were "shocked" by how the arrest was handled and that Coyne intends to plead not guilty when he is arraigned at a later date.

Coyne was not charged nor indicted but was before Baughman because of an affidavit signed by an FBI agent. The complaint alleges that he accepted bribes from Hinckley real estate developer David Terry.

Terry, 70, already pleaded guilty to charges that he bribed Public Official 17 -- someone matching Coyne's description -- in order to "influence and reward" the official for various dealings in 2007.

Terry said he bribed Coyne in exchange for his past and future political influence and that Coyne had helped Terry's relatives get jobs with the county.

Terry said he wrote Coyne four separate $5,000 checks written on the accounts of four separate companies whose names Coyne gave to him, according to court documents.

Those accounts included the Strongsville Democratic Club, the Citizens for Pat Coyne and the Strongsville Wildcat Baseball, and all listed Coyne's home address on the account.

On Jan. 18, 2008, National City Bank used money from three of the accounts to issue a bank check for $15,000 to Smuggler's Bay Pointe LLC, a real estate development in Marblehead, the affidavit reads.

The FBI agent says he traced the NCB check and it shows that it was used in the purchase of a condominium for Coyne, the affidavit reads.

The FBI agent said he interviewed Terry on July 23, 2010, and Terry said Coyne approached him in January 2008 and "asked for money."

Coyne abruptly resigned Friday. He was first elected to City Council as a Councilman-At-Large in 1989.

Coyne was widely referred to as being Public Official 17 in the Cuyahoga County corruption probe that got underway in July, 2008.

On Friday, Coyne sent a one-sentence letter to Strongsville Council President Michael Daymut saying he was resigning immediately, Strongsville Mayor Tom Perciak said.

Coyne was fired from his job at the Cuyahoga County Coroner's office in October, 2010, a job that was said to have been orchestrated by top Democratic officials.


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