CLEVELAND - Thomas Greco Jr. was just one of the top MetroHealth executives indicted in the Cuyahoga County Corruption investigation.
On Nov. 23 2009, then-54-year-old Greco was accused of accepting travel, gift cards and home improvements, totaling $678,000. The FBI said he directed lucrative construction contracts to the Cleveland company, East West Construction while serving as the hospital system’s director of facility services.
Greco’s boss, former vice president of facilities at MetroHealth, John Carroll, pleaded guilty in federal court. In a statement, MetroHealth Medical Center said Greco resigned his post in January 2009 and Carroll was fired on July 14, 2008 "after our own internal investigation confirmed that Carroll violated our ethics policy. The firing occurred well before any corruption investigation became public." Carroll was sentenced to nine years in prison.
MetroHealth said the allegations came to light in 2008 "we restructured the construction management department, instituted new processes and controls to provide early warning of violations or our policies and procedures and created more competitive bidding for construction projects."
Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo were named in the jury questionnaires for Greco’s trial, marking one of the first times the two were mentioned in court documents.
During the first day of Greco’s trial, the man who prosecutors said he bribed took the stand. Nilesh "Neal" Patel had already pleaded guilty and was waiting on his sentence when he told jurors that he gave Greco gift cards to places like Best Buy, Home Depot and Giant Eagle. The former president of East West Construction was then supposed to add the cost of the gifts to MetroHealth’s bill for the construction projects.
Prosecutors showed exhibits, in Greco's handwriting, which instructed Patel how much to inflate the cost of certain jobs and how much that amount would then bring down the running tally of gifts that Patel already provided. Patel was sentenced to 42 months in prison and to pay $628,000 in restitution for his corporation in the investigation.
Greco's attorneys said Patel and Carroll conspired against their client in an effort to get a better deal for themselves.
A jury found Greco guilty on June 8, 2010 of all 13 counts.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
County Corruption News
Cuyahoga County corruption figure Steven Pumper was sentenced Wednesday to 8 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution for his role in the corruption scandal.
A former aide to disgraced Cuyahoga County Commissioner Frank Russo is scheduled to be sentenced Monday on corruption charges.