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Former Cuyahoga County official pleads guilty following corruption probe

Cuyahoga County
Posted at 3:11 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 15:11:30-04

CLEVELAND — A former Cuyahoga County employee who was indicted last year following the culmination of a corruption probe by local and federal authorities has pleaded guilty to several charges.

The ex-employee, Emily McNeeley, pleaded guilty to three counts of dereliction of duty and one count of obstructing official business. All the charges are second-degree misdemeanors.

“Our prosecutors continue to untangle the snarl of public corruption in Cuyahoga County,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “Taxpayers deserve honest, clean, transparent government – the kind that works for the people, not themselves.”

McNeeley, a former assistant law director and general counsel for Cuyahoga County’s Department of Information Technology, was indicted in January 2019 after authorities opened an investigation into her alleged illicit activities.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, McNeeley went before county council on Sept. 19, 2016, and recommended a $9 million contract be awarded to an IT company named Ciber, Inc. City officials say that McNeeley didn’t inform the county her father, who is the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissioner, was convicted of bribery charges involving Ciber, Inc.

Authorities at the time said that McNeeley’s omission on the matter “directly affected council’s decision to award the contract to Ciber.”

Six months later, Ciber, Inc. filed for bankruptcy.

Authorities said the contract McNeeley signed required Ciber, Inc. to get a performance bond for the services. They failed to do so.

She was also accused of negotiating contracts with Hyland Software, a local company where her spouse worked in upper management in the Government Contracting Division, from December 2016 to November 2017.

Authorities said at the time that McNeeley handed over “confidential material” on contracts to Hyland Software and didn’t disclose information about her spouse working for a company benefiting from county contracts.

RELATED: Prosecutors admit concerns of witness intimidation in county corruption investigation

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