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Two Bedford city officials indicted on corruption and prostitution charges

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BEDFORD, OH (WOIO) -

The Law Director of the City of Bedford and a Judge at Bedford Municipal Court have been indicted on charges involving public corruption and prostitution, Cuyahoga County Timothy J. McGinty announced Thursday. 

Law Director and City Prosecutor Kenneth Schuman has been charged with one count each of Bribery, Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract, Money Laundering, Theft in Office, Obstructing Justice, Falsification, Receiving Improper Compensation and Soliciting. The first six of those eight charges are felonies. 

Judge Harry J. Jacob III has been charged with four felonies: one count of Bribery and three counts of Promoting Prostitution. Jacobs also has been indicted on six counts of Soliciting, third-degree misdemeanors. 

Both men recently have taken leaves of absence from their public positions. 

"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."

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. 

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. 

Thursday'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. 

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