CLEVELAND -- Former Bedford Law Director Ken Schuman was scheduled to go on trial Aug. 6 with co-defendant Bedford Municipal Court Judge Harry Jacob III.
But Schuman, according to his attorney James McDonnell, pleaded guilty today. Schuman pleaded guilty to having an unlawful interest in a public contract, a fourth-degree felony. O'Donnell tells WKYC that Schuman will also pay a fine.
The charge to which Schuman pleaded involved a contract for bond work that he awarded in his official capacity in 2006 to the Cleveland law firm of Vorys, Sater Seymour & Pease. After it was paid by the city, the law firm paid Schuman $9,500.
Schuman was also charged with bribery, soliciting or receiving improper compensation, money laundering, theft in office, obstructing justice, falsification and soliciting.
Why did Schuman plead guilty?
"He thought it was appropriate,: O'Donnell said.
Schuman appeared before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Brian J. Corrigan. Corrigan set a sentencing date of Sept. 3.
Schuman, 42, was indicted Dec. 19 and resigned from his city position in a letter dated April 27.
"Public officials in Cuyahoga County need to remember that they serve the public's interest, not their own," said Assistant County Prosecutor Matthew Meyer, Supervisor of the Public Corruption Unit.
"Ken Schuman, however, decided to use the power of his office for his own personal benefit. Now he's going to pay the price."
Back on Dec. 6, WKYC.com was the first to confirm and report that Schuman's home and law offices were searched by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bedford police and investigators from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty's office.
That was followed by confirmation that Bedford Municipal Court Judge Harry Jacob III, of Solon, took an unexpected medical leave of absence from the bench starting Nov. 19.
Schuman, of Bedford, also took an abrupt medical leave of absence days later.
On Dec. 19, both men were indicted on multiple charges by a grand jury, charges raging from bribery and corruption to promoting prostitution.
As for Jacob, the state charges that he solicited sex from at least three prostitutes and supervised and induced the activities of at least two women who were engaging in sex for hire. It also charges that Jacob gave a woman who he paid for sex special treatment on a traffic violation and did not reveal his relationship with the woman to other court officials.
Schuman had been charged with one count each of bribery, unlawful interest in a public contract, money laundering, theft in office, obstructing justice, falsification and receiving improper compensation/soliciting.
Jacob was charged with four felonies: one count of bribery and three counts of promoting prostitution.
Schuman was indicted for felonies including bribery, having an unlawful interest in a public contract, money laundering, theft in office and obstructing justice. He was indicted on misdemeanors of soliciting or receiving improper compensation, falsification and soliciting.
Jacob was indicted for felonies of bribery and three counts of promoting prostitution. He was also indicted for misdemeanors of dereliction of duty and six counts of soliciting prostitutes. The indictment alleges that Jacob was involved with at least four different prostitutes.
The state of Ohio accused him of using Bedford city employees to do work for his outside law practice and to run personal errands on city time, deliberately misleading police about a woman with whom he had a relationship during their investigation of a brothel that had been operating in Bedford, and soliciting a woman for sex.