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Courts and Crime

A key Cuyahoga County corruption figure is sentenced to eight-years plus
After pleading guilty and  cooperating with investigators since the scandal broke in 2008, former contractor Steven Pumper is heading to federal prison

Kevin Niedermier
In The Region:

One of the original figures in Cuyahoga County’s corruption scandal was  sentenced  today to more than 8 years in prison. Former contractor Steven Pumper pleaded guilty to bribing county and school district officials shortly after the investigation broke in 2008. He could have gotten up to 10 years, but was given a lighter sentence for cooperating with investigators.

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For years, Steven Pumper benefited from contracts he received through bribes to convicted former county commissioner Jimmy Dimora and to school district officials.

Before he was sentenced in Akron’s federal court, Pumper told Judge Sara Lioi he takes full responsibility for his actions, and apologized to Cuyahoga County, the Parma and Maple Heights schools, his family, and to the FBI for lying to agents.

Pumper was also ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution to the county, the schools, and to Philips Health Care, a company whose employees he also bribed for contacts.

Judge Lioi denied a defense request for an even lighter sentence. Pumper’s attorney argued that he received most of his illegal financial gain through bribes to Philips, a private company. But his bribes of public officials, which is a more serious offense, yielded less financial gain.

Pumper will serve his time at the federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va. The corruption scandal has netted more than 60 convictions and guilty pleas. 

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