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Courts and Crime

Cuyahoga corruption figure gets four years at "Camp Cupcake"
Former school board president Sandy Klimkowski has been free for four years while she helped federal prosecutors build cases against Russo and dozens of others

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A key figure in the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal has been sentenced to four years in a women’s prison in West Virginia known as Camp Cupcake

Sandy Klimkowski admitted four years ago she was the bag woman for about a million dollars in bribes to her former boss, County Auditor Frank Russo. She also admitted she took home improvements and other bribes from contractors looking to do business with the Maple Heights School District, where she was school board president for more than a decade.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Lioi had allowed Klimkowski to remain free while prosecutors made their cases against more than 50 other defendants. 

Given her cooperation, Klimkowski had asked for a sentence of less than two years, and that it be served at the federal prison in Alderson, W.Va., where Martha Stewart served her time.

She got her preference on the location, but not on the length of the sentence. Federal guidelines called for her to get 46 to 57 months; she got 48.

The sentence Lioi handed down today also includes restitution to both the county and the school district, which is one of the poorest in Cuyahoga County.

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In addition to prison time, Klimkowski has been ordered to make restitution totaling more than $270,000. Here's the breakdown:
  • $154,000 to Cuyahoga County
  • $83,414 to Maple Heights School District
  • $32,888 to the IRS  (for unpaid taxes on the bribes) 

Related WKSU Stories

Maple Heights tries to recover from the damage corruption wrought
Monday, October 28, 2013

Ohio Supreme Court suspends law license for former Russo aide
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Former Cuyahoga judge McCafferty facing indefinite law license suspension
Monday, August 5, 2013

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