Maple Heights Man Never Gives Up, Uncovers County Corruption

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EXCLUSIVE: CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Did the County Prosecutor's Office turn its back on information that could have triggered an investigation into government corruption years before it actually began?

One local man thinks so, and is now he's telling his story only to 19 Action News.

The book, entitled Never Give Up by Leroy Colley, Jr., blew the whistle on corruption in Maple Heights schools. But while Colley connected the dots and didn't give up, he says until recently, few would listen to him.

"These guys had an open checkbook with our money and could do whatever they wanted to do," Colley told to 19 Action News Reporter Paul Orlousky.

Colley might know the who's who in Maple Heights schools better than anyone. Thanks to him, the who's who is now the who was. Superintendents, the treasurer, supervisors and school board members out. Sandy Klimkowski, the former board president, is headed to prison.

Leroy Colley's research didn't begin as research to write a book. He was just a concerned parent with questions about how money was being spent. But after countless hours of reviewing documents at the Board of Education, he noticed a troubling trend.

"We found out there was so many people involved and tied into the county that worked for the county, it was unbelievable," said Colley.

"You presented this to the FBI?" asked Orlousky.

"Yes we did." replied Colley. "And they made up a chart that led to a lot of people in Russo's office."

Colley didn't hear from the FBI for years, but in the months before the now famous raid on the county administration building, he did. He gave them more documents. But what is most troubling is the cold shoulder he got from the county prosecutors office.

"At one point we went down to Mr. Mason's office and whether or not they investigated I can't say because they really don't tell you a lot of things," said Colley.

"Did the County Prosecutor's Office ever come back and ask any questions?" asked Orlousky.

"Not to my knowledge, no." said Colley.

"Did the FBI?" Orlousky asked.

"The FBI did contact myself." said Colley.

The state of Ohio is currently doing a forensic audit of the Maple Heights School's books. Colley believes the findings alone could lead to as many as a dozen new indictments.

Meantime, the FBI is doing work on several other fronts.

Here's an excerpt from Never Give Up:

Back to 'connecting the dots', the school Board President was allegedly sleeping with the school Board attorney. The attorney had brought in the Treasurer and so on. Friends and family were on the payroll, like one big happy family.

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