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Brecksville councilman indicted for using his company to build police station

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 17:22:55-04

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — A Brecksville councilman has been indicted for allegedly using his construction company to build a new police station and not disclosing his role in the company.

John Petsche, 66, was indicted for having an unlawful interest in a public contract involving the construction of a new police station roof and for engaging in discussions for a contract involving the renovation of the city’s aquatic center.

“Public servants are held to the highest ethical standard,” said Prosecutor Michael O’Malley. “This is a clear violation of the law.”

Petsche has been indicted on the following charges:

  • Three counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract
  • One count of attempted having an unlawful interest in a public contract

Petsche was elected to City Council in November 2017.

As a member of the council, he voted on at least three matters regarding the funding of a contract involving a construction company, with which he had a business interest, according to the indictment.

However, he failed to disclose the nature of that relationship to the city until August 2019, after his company had been paid $142,000. He also allegedly engaged in discussions with another construction company for a separate project, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, an Ohio Ethics Commission investigation found that in May 2014, Brecksville entered into a three-year contractual agreement with a construction company to build a new police station. That company subsequently reached a $154,000 subcontractor agreement with USA Roofing – a company owned by Petsche – in December 2017, after he was elected. Investigators learned that on at least three separate occasions between April 2018 and March 2019, Petsche voted to allow the city to acquire finances to pay the construction company, which then paid Petsche’s roofing company for their work.

The investigation also revealed that in May 2019, Brecksville began taking quotes for renovations to the city’s aquatic center. The day after bidding opened, Petsche contacted another construction company and engaged in subcontract discussions on behalf of his roofing business, according to the indictment.

Petsche will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date.

RELATED: Brecksville councilman under Ohio ethics investigation on police station contract