Kevin Hood, 45, of Richmond Heights was arrested Thursday

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CLEVELAND -- The manager of the U.S. Postal Service's Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Cleveland has been charged with taking cash bribes in exchange for awarding business and contacts.

Kevin Hood, 45, of Richmond Heights was arrested Thursday and charged with wire fraud and honest services wire fraud.

"Some defendants appear to still have not gotten the message that accepting bribes has no place in Northeast Ohio," said Steven Dettlebach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, who announced the arrest. "We will continue to work to stamp out public corruption in all its forms.""This crime is particularly egregious considering the defendant was put in this position because the former manager was convicted on similar charges," Monica Weyler, special agent in charge of the USPS Office of Inspector General.

Hood has worked for the Postal Service since 1998 and most recently served as manager of the Vehicle Maintenance Facility at 1801 Broadway Ave. In that job, Hood had the ability to award and monitor contracts on behalf of the Postal Service.

The owner of a company that has contracts with the Postal Service said Hood approached him for money in order to get work and contracts from the Postal Service. In late 2011, the business owner paid Hood in cash and believed he had to continue to pay Hood to receive work, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.

The owner estimated he paid between $15,000 and $17,000 to Hood to date. He also estimated he provided up to $8,000 in free labor on Hood's personal vehicles, according to the complaint.

The owner stated Hood told him this was part of the deal in the owner receiving Postal Service work, according to the complaint.

On March 6, the owner paid Hood $4,500 in $100 bills. Hood placed the envelope containing the bills in his left boot. The transaction was monitored and recorded by USPS Office of Inspector General special agents, according to the complaint.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Miranda Dugi and Antoinette T. Bacon following an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service's Office of Inspector General.

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