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Former Russo assistant sentenced to four years in prison

4:35 PM, Oct 28, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Santina "Sandy" Klimkowski to four years in prison on five counts and three years on one count, both sentences to run concurrently.

Lioi also recommended that Klimkowski be housed in the federal prison at Alderson, the same place where former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Bridget McCafferty served her sentence, as well as celebrity Martha Stewart. It is known as "Camp Cupcake."

Klimkowski, 61, was the former assistant to former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo. She pleaded guilty in 2009 to assisting in a bribery scheme involving more than $1 million paid by an appraisal company to Russo.

She also accepted bribes in exchange for schools contracts.

In her 17-page sentencing memorandum, Klimkowski asked Lioi to consider her age, her clean prior criminal history, her cooperation with federal investigators, and her remorse for her crimes.

Klimkowski already has paid $149,000 in restitution to the county, to Maple Heights and the IRS, and has agreed to pay about $38,000 more.

Lioi also sentenced Klimkowski to participate in the 500-hour intensive drug treatment program at Alderson.

Klimkowski is being allowed to surrender herself when notified.

She is required to make restitution in the amount of $270,302.50.

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