BEDFORD -- On Dec. 6, WKYC.com was the first to confirm and report that city of Bedford Law Director Ken 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, 57, of Solon, took an unexpected medical leave of absence from the bench starting Nov. 19. Schuman, 41, of Bedford, also took an abrupt medical leave of absence days later.
Now we know why.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty released indictments Thursday afternoon charging both men with multiple offenses.
Schuman has 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 has been 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 charges that Schuman received a bribe of $9,500 in 2006 to influence the hiring of a Cleveland law firm as the city's bond counsel. It also accuses 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.
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 the judge 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.
Outgoing Bedford Mayor Daniel Pocek told WKYC's Tom Beres "It's a tragic turn of events. I am just devastated."
WKYC previously obtained copies of multiple subpoenas issued by a Cuyahoga County grand jury, including subpoenas for various Bedford city officials, records from Jacob's Bedford Municipal Court office, items from Schuman's law offices in Garfield Heights and items from his home on Kenyon Drive in Bedford, where investigators had to break down the back door to gain entry to the home.
Many of the subpoenas inquire about Schuman's contracts with the city and his use of city vehicles, as well as expense accounts and documents relating to the city's bonds. The subpoenas also request documentation relating to some cases involving Jacob.
Back on Nov. 7, McGinty addressed Cuyahoga County Council, saying, "You've seen a couple of recent massage-parlor, brothel-type operations we've shut down. And there will be some corruption arrests coming out of those shortly."
That statement came on the heels of a September raid at an alleged brothel called Studio 54 in the Walsh Professional Building in Bedford -- operating near a school and a church -- and, subsequently, owner James Walsh, 71, of Willoughby Hills, was indicted on charges of money laundering and promoting prostitution.
The September raid turned up extensive financial records for hundreds of clients, some of whom paid with credit cards. Investigators have been working to identify those clients ever since.
"Today's indictments should send an unmistakable message that this office will vigorously pursue public corruption at every level in Cuyahoga County,'' said Matthew Meyer, supervising attorney in the Public Corruption Unit of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office. "No public official should be able to abuse his or her position of public trust as these two defendants have done. Prosecutors and judges are supposed to enforce the law, not violate it. "
Bedford Municipal Court has jurisdiction over cases from Bedford, Bedford Heights, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Chagrin Falls Township, Glenwillow, Highland Hills, Moreland Hills, North Randall, Oakwood, Orange, Solon, Warrensville Heights and Woodmere.
Today's indictments are the result of a joint investigation that included the Bedford Police Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office.