County corruption: Former CMHA head gets 10 months in prison

1:54 PM, Apr 4, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced George Philips-Olivier to 10 months in prison just after noon Wednesday and fined him $3,000.

He was the former head of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Lioi recommends that he be housed in the federal correctional facility in Morgantown, West Virginia, and is allowing him to self-surrender to U.S. Marshals later this month.

Philips-Olivier, 53, was found guilty on Dec. 14 on Count 5 of his indictment and found not guilty on the other four counts.

Count 5 was making false statements to FBI agents in the Cuyahoga County corruption probe and the other four counts were for bribery and conspiracy.

He was acquitted in federal court in Akron of two counts of bribery, of obtaining thousands of dollars worth of gifts from contractor/businessman William Neiheiser through extortion and of conspiring to defraud CMHA.

He had been suspended by CMHA from his $191,000 job since his indictment in April, 2011, but was fired by CMHA in January after his conviction.

Phillips-Olivier was accused of accepting bribes from contractor William Neiheiser to win a $26 million energy performance contract from the taxpayer-subsidized CMHA.

He was also acquitted of two counts of bribery, of obtaining thousands of dollars worth of gifts from Neiheiser through extortion, and of conspiring to defraud CMHA.

Count 5 was for denying to FBI agents that he took tickets for a golf tournament from Neiheiser and falsely claiming he had paid for air conditioning that the contractor had installed in his Cleveland home.

After serving his time, Philips-Olivier will have a year of supervised release.

Neiheiser, 63, the CEO of the former Reliance Mechanical, pleaded guilty Nov. 4, 2010, and was sentenced July 22, 2011 to 37 months in prison. He is also serving his sentence in the Morgantown, West Virginia, prison.


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