Assistant prosecutor indicted on bribery charges

CLEVELAND (AP) - An assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor is
accused of accepting money from an inmate in exchange for promising to persuade a judge to give him a lenient sentence, prosecutors said.
Aaron Phillips, 36, was indicted Tuesday on two counts of
bribery, attempted obstruction of justice and possession of drugs and criminal tools after investigators set up a sting operation, said Steve Dever, an assistant county prosecutor.
Phillips met twice last week with Edito Rosa, a 28-year-old
Cleveland man being held in a holding cell. Rosa, who wore a recording device, gave Phillips $2,000 in marked bills.
In return, Phillips promised to try to get him a lenient sentence on his domestic violence charge, Dever said.
Authorities confronted Phillips on Friday. They found $1,700 of the marked bills in his pocket. They searched his private office and his car and found 3 grams of cocaine and scales, Dever said.
Phillips waived his rights to a lawyer and confessed to taking the bribes, Dever said. It is unclear if he did anything to fix the case.
Rosa, who pleaded guilty to domestic violence, is scheduled to be sentenced next month by Common Pleas Judge Eileen Gallagher. The judge said Phillips never spoke to her about Rosa's case or any others.
Prosecutor Bill Mason fired Phillips on Friday. Prosecutors will seek a substantial prison term for Phillips because he held a position of public trust, Dever said.
Phillips is under house arrest and may leave home only to go to court or church.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)