Cleveland firefighter indicted in Richmond Hts corruption probe

CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland firefighter has been indicted for helping a former Richmond Heights schools official falsify his job credentials, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty confirmed.

John T. Cook, 46, of Cleveland, was indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on one count each of tampering with records and forgery.

Cook is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 8.

The City of Cleveland released this statement: Firefighter John T. Cookwas indicted today by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on charges of Tampering with Records and Forgery.Per city policy, Mr. Cook will be placed on unpaid administrative leave pending adjudication of the charges filed against him. Mr. Cook will remain on unpaid administrative leave until all disciplinary actions are completed.

The State of Ohio charges that Cook, who also operated a construction company, helped Richard Muse create documents that purported to show Muse had specialized skills and training that he, in fact, did not.

Without these certifications, Muse would have been ineligible to become Director of Buildings and Grounds for the Richmond Heights Local School District.

On April 30, Muse entered a plea of guilty to one count each of theft in office and forgery. The forgery count pertained to the false documents that were submitted with his job application.

On May 22, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold sentenced Muse to 10 months in prison.


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