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Friday, August 24, 2007

One More Rip-Off For Old Time's Sake: City throws Ciaccia a retirement party

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 1:42 PM

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Julius Ciacca: narrowly escaping indictment for 30 years!
After surviving five mayors, two major corruption trials, and 30 years working for the City of Cleveland, retiring Public Utilities Director Julius Ciaccia, Jr. deserves a drink, or nine. Luckily, his dedicated minions at the city water department are throwing him a party to do just that. Ciaccia has been at the center of corruption scandals for the past 15 years (“Why are You Still Paying Him?” August 15). Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office even accused the now-imprisoned Nate Gray of funneling bribes to him in exchange for water contracts. Yet that hasn’t stopped Ciaccia from earning the undying devotion of local political leaders. In fact, he’s retiring from the city to become director of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, an organization that also happens to be under investigation by the FBI. As parties go, tonight’s should be a good one. Ciaccia isn’t even requiring an entrance bribe. “Please, no gifts,” the invitation reminds us. “Your presence is gift enough.” The shindig is tonight, at the swanky Windows on the River in the Flats. Tickets are $40, must be bought in advance, and, to make city officials most comfortable, should be purchased using small, unmarked bills. – Lisa Rab

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