Ex-Strongsville councilman sentenced in corruption probe

11:20 AM, Sep 26, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Gaughan sentenced former Strongsville Councilman Patrick J. Coyne to nearly five years in prison Monday morning.

Coyne, 53, received a sentence of four years and nine months.

Coyne was arrested May 9, freed on $50,000 bond, and placed on house arrest with a GPS locator strapped to his ankle.

Coyne pleaded guilty June 13 to taking $20,000 in bribes from Hinckley developer David Terry and convincing an investor to give him $32,000 in a phony Krispy Kreme doughnut shop deal.

Terry, 70, was charged Sept. 3, 2010, and pleaded guilty to bribery on Sept. 17, 2010, and is awaiting his own sentencing.

Coyne cooperated with the FBI in the corruption probe and reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to serve between three and four years in prison.

Gaughan added time to that sentence because Coyne got involved in the Krispy Kreme dealings while he was talking to the FBI, something that can be considered "misconduct."

Since 2007, Coyne was the $120,000-a-year director of operations and human resources for the then-Cuyahoga County Coroner's office and admitted in his plea agreement that, in exchange for hiring new employees there, he got other county officeholders to hire his preferred candidates.

Then-Coroner Frank Miller fired Coyne in October, 2010, shortly after Coyne was implicated in the bribery scheme. Coyne also worked for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason from 1999 until he joined the coroner's office.

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