(Cleveland) - The former head of a Cleveland-area anti-poverty agency is charged with accepting more than $24,000 in cash, home renovations and other things of value, in exchange for steering work to specific contractors.
Jacqueline Middleton, 69, of Shaker Heights, was charged in a criminal indictment with two counts of honest services fraud, one count of bribery in federally funded programs and one count of Hobbs Act Conspiracy.
Middleton served as president and chief executive officer of the Council of Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland.
The CEOGC was organized with the purpose of serving low-income people of Cuyahoga County and Greater Cleveland.
Mike Tobin of the U.S. Attorney's Office said, the CEOGC administered several federal, state and local programs designed to address the needs of low-income individuals, including Head Start, the Community Services Block Grant program and the Home Energy Assistance program.
Tobin told Newsradio WTAM 1100, from 2008 through around August 7, 2012, Middleton used her official position to enrich herself by soliciting and accepting gifts, payments and other things of value from contractors who did business with CEOGC.
He said, these gifts and payments were made in exchange for favorable action from Middleton for the payors and their companies.
Tobin said it is very disappointing that a person who was supposed to be helping people get out of poverty was actually enriching herself.
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(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)