CLEVELAND - An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation has uncovered how Cuyahoga County continues to deal with businesses associated with bribing public officials, despite the ongoing federal corruption probe.
The revelations are now prompting Cuyahoga County Ed FitzGerald to call for a new, tough ordinance that would more closely examine how taxpayers dollars are being spent.
Take the case of Craig Gorsuch, for example, who declined to talk with us about his business dealings.
Our investigation found that despite being identified in an Ohio Inspector General investigation in 2008 as being part of a major bribery scandal involving the Ohio Department of Transportation, Cuyahoga county continued to do business with the company Gorsuch worked for.
Gorsuch was employed with West Shore Equipment, a company owned by Gorsuch's wife, according to the family's attorney.
He later pleaded guilty to bribery for his role in the ODOT scandal, just weeks after a separate federal probe into county corruption became public.
"This was really someone that I would consider to be gaming the system," said FitzGerald. "Somebody convicted of wrongdoing with public contracts on the state level decided to take their operation to the county level."
And while its not illegal for Gorsuch to do so, records we found show that Cuyahoga county -- despite intense scrutiny -- continued doing business with Gorsuch's company.
In one case, the county purchased $26,000 worth of heavy equipment from West Shore Equipment while Gorsuch was still in prison on bribery charges.
Cuyahoga county's Inspector General found similar business deals.
As a result of our investigation, County Executive Ed Fitzgerald said he is introducing a new, tough, ordinance that would more closely follow how tax dollars are spent.
"We're going to introduce what's called a debarment order," said FitzGerald.
"It's going to be an official standard where people are banned from being contractors in the future with Cuyahoga County.
Watch this story tonight on NewsChannel5 at 11.
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