Criminal Justice

Ex-official gets time in law firm kickback case

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A former law director and prosecutor for the city of Bedford, Ohio, was sentenced to six months Wednesday after taking a plea to a lesser charge in a bribery case that involved, among other issues, a $9,500 law firm kickback for bond work.

Kenneth Schuman, who is 42 or 43, was sentenced on Wednesday to six months. He pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of having an unlawful interest in a public contract, as another WKYC article details.

“It’s not what the state wants; it’s not what the defense wants, but it is what I think is right,” said Judge Brian Corrigan as he imposed sentence, the Plain Dealer reports. The government had sought 18 months, while defense counsel argued for probation.

Prosecutors said Schuman accepted $9,500 from Vorys Sater Seymour & Pease in 2006 after directing bond work to the law firm. He allegedly knew and worked with a former partner of the firm, Anthony Calabrese III, who is now serving a nine-year federal sentence for bribery.

News articles don’t include comment from Schuman. His defense counsel reportedly told WKYC his client took the plea because he thought it was appropriate to do so.

Schuman had been accused, along with municipal judge Judge Harry Jacob III, of criminal conduct concerning an illegal brothel operated within the city. However, multiple brothel-related charges against both men were dropped, WEWS reported last month.

Related coverage: (2013): “Law firm OKs $3M payment to city following corruption-case plea by former firm attorney”

Plain Dealer (2014): “Former Bedford Law Director Ken Schuman arrested on charge of DUI in Twinsburg”

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