ODOT Probe: Small Time ODOT Players Charged, Ready To Turn On the - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

ODOT Probe: Small Time ODOT Players Charged, Ready To Turn On the Big Boys

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UPDATE: CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - New details surrounding allegations of greed and corruption at the Ohio Department of Transportation.

19 Action News Investigative Reporter Carl Monday learned last October that at least eight employees - included some top O-DOT officials - were suspended or fired for gross misconduct from District 12 in Garfield Heights.

And now, some small-time players in the probe were slapped with charges on Friday. All those targeted in the massive corruption probe cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

ODOT Storekeeper Joseph Jedrzejek was charged with one count of theft. ODOT Auto Mechanic William Werman was charged with one count of unlawful interest in a public contract and Jeffrey Bauer was charged with one count of attempted tampering and one count of bribery. All of the defendants pleaded not guilty. They, along with others, are ready to testify against several high-ranking ODOT officials.

State investigators say millions of dollars may have exchanged hands, along with free trips and frequent trips to local strip clubs.

In exchange for contracts, vendors paid nearly $400K dollars in improper payments to three of the employees - District Manager Dennis Katochvil, Equipment Supt. Terry Kosmata and Parts Warehouse Supervisor Kevin Horrigan.

Investigators say Cosmata, who owns a sportsfighing charter business, booked 500 fishing trips with vendors who paid him over a quarter million dollars.

Horrigan, who ran a foreclosure business out of this home in Northfield Center, sold more than $40K dollars in services to O-DOT. Much of it was never delivered.

Investigators say Former District Manager Kratochvil's greed was fueled by his infatuation with strippers, giving one stripper $4,000 dollars for breast augmentation, paid strippers for sex - sometimes in the O-DOT garage.

Charges against 28 additional individuals involved in the corruption are forthcoming.

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