Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ex Cleveland Councilwoman And Mayor Jackson, NAACP Leader George Forbes Ally Sabra Pierce Scott Pleads Guilty To Bribery, Agrees To Snitch On Others

Former Cleveland Ward 8 Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott

From the Metro Desk of The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (

Former Cleveland Ward 8 Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott, who was Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's 2009 reelection campaign manager, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal district court to conspiracy to commit bribery and has agreed to testify against others as part of an ongoing corruption probe of City Hall operatives.

Pierce Scott, 52, who abruptly resigned in 2009 and is now pursuing a master's degree at Case Western Reserve University, is the first Black elected Cleveland official to be charged. She joins a long list of more than 50 countywide officials and their affiliates that have either pleaded guilty or been convicted of corruption- related crimes in office in connection with a neverending FBI investigation made public three years ago.

She appeared before Federal District Court Judge Christopher Boyko in Cleveland, and after admitting guilt, she left the courtroom flanked by her attorney.

"It's a classic example of the chickens coming home to roost," Cleveland Ward 6 Precinct Committeeman John Boyd told the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com. "I always believed that Sabra was shady and protected by Frank Jackson. Its just a microcosm of the corruption that has permeated Cuyahoga County, including the City of Cleveland."

Pierce Scott faces restitution and 8 months to two years in prison if she cooperates with authorities, a posture that raises speculation as to what other Black Cleveland elected officials might be next, if any. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 12.

In addition to Jackson and several west side and east side council persons she is linked to Cleveland NAACP President George L. Forbes, a local attorney and former Cleveland City Council president. She represented the historical Glenville area and a cross section of other neighborhoods on Cleveland's predominantly Black east side of town.

The criminal information, which was issued instead of an indictment since Pierce Scott is cooperating with federal prosecutors, accuses her of taking $2 thousand in cash from developer Michael Forlani, a former president of Doan Pyramid Electric and top owner with Veterans Development LLC, a company vested with a $1.25 million contract from the City of Cleveland to build a parking garage and apartment building to boaster the nearby Louis Stokes VA Medical Center. In exchange for the money and a job for her son, the information accuses the former councilwoman, who served eight years before resigning two years ago, of pushing the land project and legislation for tax breaks for Forlani, who has not been charged, and for his companies, and of helping them to buy land owned by the city.

Reach Journalist Kathy Wray Coleman at, and phone number: 216-932-3114.