Former Frank Russo aide Sandy Klimkowski sentenced 4 years on corruption charges

Sandy Klimkowski apologizes for bribes

CLEVELAND - A former aide to disgraced Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo was sentenced to four years in federal prison Monday on corruption charges.

Sandy Klimkowski, 61, pleaded guilty in September 2009 to her role in a million dollar bribery scheme involving her former boss Frank Russo and a company hired to perform commercial appraisals.

Klimkowski apologized for her behavior saying "there were no excuses" and said she "accepted full responsibility."

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She will serve time at the federal correctional facility in Alderson, W. Va. that has been dubbed "camp cupcake" for its relatively comfortable facilities.

Klimkowski also agreed to pay restitution for her crimes.

In the months that followed, Klimkowski cooperated with federal prosecutors in the successful prosecution of her former boss, Russo, who is currently serving 22 years in prison on corruption charges.

She also admitted taking bribes in return for school contracts involving the Maple Heights school system while she served as a school board member.

According to court documents, Klimkowski asked U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi for leniency for her crimes, citing her age, health conditions, lack of criminal history and willingness to take responsibility for her crimes.

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