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Joint Statement from Ohio Auditor of State, Ethics Commision
Former Cleveland City Councilman Facing 26 Charges After Ethics Investigation
Columbus – Former Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman is facing 26 charges of unlawful interest in a public contract following an investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission.
Stephanie Anderson of the Ohio Auditor of State’s Public Integrity Assurance Team filed the charges, all first-degree misdemeanors, Wednesday with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Anderson was appointed special prosecutor in the case after the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office recused itself.
The investigation examined public contracts Cimperman voted to approve during his tenure as councilman that benefited LAND Studio, a non-profit company where his wife worked. Paul Nick, the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, stated, “The public expects that its elected officials will not betray the public’s trust by misusing their positions to benefit family members.”
Said Auditor Yost: “The evidence in this case reveals a clear-cut conflict of interest. Thanks to the excellent work of the Ethics Commission, I’m confident that Mr. Cimperman will be held accountable in court.”
Cimperman is scheduled for arraignment on Friday.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.
Ohio Auditor of STate
Education & Communications Administrator
Ohio Ethics Commission