Cimperman pleaded guilty to 26 misdemeanor charges.
CLEVELAND — Former Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman will more than likely avoid jail time after being sentenced on more than two dozen misdemeanor charges Tuesday.
After the sentencing, Cimperman said he was embarrassed to even be in the situation. He said, “There’s very few days that I wish my mom and dad weren’t here. Today, I’m happy that they’re not.”
A judge sentenced Cimperman to one year in county jail, but suspended the sentence, meaning Cimperman will probably not see the inside of a prison cell. Cimperman also received a year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine, the latter of which he already agreed to in a deal with prosecutors.
Cimperman said, “It’s a wakeup call. You can be on a nonprofit board, get no money and still you’re not supposed to vote on it at council and I should have known that.”
Cimperman pleaded guilty to 26 misdemeanor charges as part of the plea agreement. Those charges date back to 2002 and are all listed as “having an unlawful interest in public contracts.” Prosecutors say Cimperman illegally voted on public contracts to award city money to a design firm to which he and his wife had close ties.
The state attorney prosecuting the case, Stephanie Anderson, says she was hoping for jail time. She added, “The thing that I find most problematic is that for the number of years that this was occuring, no one batted an eye.”
Cimperman served 18 years on City Council before resigning in 2016.
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