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Former Cleveland councilman agrees to plead guilty to 26 misdemeanor charges

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 25, 2018

Former Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman has agreed to plead guilty to all 26 misdemeanor counts and pay a $10,000 fine on Friday morning.

According to court documents, Cimperman knowingly had "an interest in the profits or benefits of a public contract entered into by or for the use of the political subdivision or governmental agency or instrumentality with which he was connected."

He was charged with having an unlawful interest in a public contract. The 26 charges — all misdemeanors — allege the crimes were committed on various dates from 2002 to 2012.

Cimperman was elected in 1998 as Cleveland's Ward 3 councilman. He resigned in 2016.

Mayor Frank Jackson released the following statement regarding Cimperman Wednesday night:

I served with Joe for many years. He has done a lot for the Ward he represented and the City of Cleveland. I am proud to call him my friend.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley made the following statement: 

I stand in support of my former council colleague and friend Joe Cimperman.

He served as a dedicated and engage councilman who worked tirelessly representing the city’s near east and near west side neighborhoods, along with its downtown district. No one can deny that Joe was a main catalyst in bringing about the renaissances we see today in downtown Cleveland, in the Flats and in Ohio City.

At the same time, he embraced and helped immigrants and those less fortunate in our community.

Joe remains upbeat, energized and passionate about our city. I regard him as a true friend and an inspiration.

Cimperman is scheduled to appear back in court on Tuesday, May 8 at 9:00 a.m.

Below is a copy of the indictment: