CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The trial of Thomas Greco Jr. began in Federal Court in Cleveland on Wednesday. He is the former Metrohealth Medical Center executive charged with accepting bribes in return for steering lucrative contracts to East West Construction of Cleveland. Nilesh Patel, an executive with East West has already plead guilty to offering the bribes. Greco's boss John Carroll has admitted he took thousands of dollars in bribes from Patel.
In opening statements, Federal prosecutors called Greco the go to guy in connecting Patel's money with Carroll's power to award contracts. The cost of the bribes was recouped by Patel by overbilling Metro for the work that was done. Greco's attorney told the jury that any gifts he got from Patel were just that, gifts from one friend to another.
The trial is expected to last three weeks. Patel and Carroll agreed to testify against Greco in return for lighter sentences. Court documents obtained by 19 Action News show the total loss to Metro and taxpayers was $628,000.