Julius Ciaccia, the Great Escape Artist


Yesterday, we learned that three more people have been indicted in the federal government’s investigation of a long-running bribery scam at the Cleveland Water Department. This brings the total to 13 people — including five city employees-- implicated in the scheme, in which water employees allowed contractors to overcharge the city in exchange for cash and other bribes. Of course, Julius Ciaccia, who was water commissioner when all of this occurred, has yet to receive a slap on the wrist, much less an indictment [“Why Are You Still Paying Him?” August 15]. Instead, he’s enjoying his new job as executive director of the region’s sewer district. Today we learned that he has continued his practice of hiring old cronies to serve him in his new post. At Ciaccia’s urging, the sewer district board has hired a deputy commissioner from the water department, Marlene Sundheimer, to be its new lawyer. (The old one, William Schatz, resigned after the FBI started investigating his relationship with companies doing business with the district.) This new arrangement should make everyone feel better. At least now, if Ciaccia decides to ink any dirty deals, he’ll have a friendly lawyer around to defend him. – Lisa Rab


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