Friday, July 8, 2011

CMHA Head Charged in County Corruption Probe (Updated)

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 1:44 PM

phillips-olivier.jpg

Update: Per the PD, the trial of suspended CMHA head George Phillips-Olivier will begin December 2. 5/1 odds that Frank Russo testifies about something, most likely that Phillips-Olivier never puts a penny, only takes a penny. — Grzegorek

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Cue the Queen; this is best read with “Another One Bites the Dust” piping through the speakers. For awhile now we’ve been hearing chatter that Cuyahoga County corruption scandal is far from over, that the indictments are just gonna keep coming from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. That barroom gossip seems to have been again substantiated as another high-ranking head rolls, this time belonging to George Phillips-Olivier, the top man at the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.

According to the Plain Dealer, Phillips-Olivier is charged with accepting bribes from contractors. This isn’t much of a shocker. The executive’s name first popped up on the Fed’s probable hit list when his office and home were raided in 2008. Phillips-Olivier’s name has also been linked with former Reliance Mechanical head William Neiheiser, who pleaded guilty to charges this fall.

Phillips-Olivier’s indictment reportedly spells out the give-and-take between the two. In 2008, Neiheiser’s company was trying snagged $15 million in government work from CMHA; to grease the wheels, he allegedly gave Phillips-Olivier tickets to games, took him on golf outings, and even gave him an air conditioner for his house.

They also went on trips together. Take in this little number:

As further evidence of the relationship between Phillips-Olivier and various contractors, federal prosecutors provided a partial transcript of a conversation between Neiheiser and a contractor who matches the description of Michael Forlani, then-head of Doan Pyramid Electric.

In that conversation, Neiheiser tells the contractor that he is going to take Phillips-Olivier "to Florida tomorrow and get you all kind of f—-in' work."

The next day, Neiheiser, Phillips-Olivier and an energy-management company employee flew to Fort Myers, Fla., to play golf, according to court documents related to Neiheiser's case.

We love it when the prosecutors throw in the quotes. It really makes us feel good to know how government business is done.

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