CLEVELAND – In an exclusive report, Tom Meyer, The Investigator, said that a county engineer is in trouble with the law on charges that he tried to have sex with a child. Even worse, the alleged incident apparently happened on taxpayers' time.
Richard Silva is accused of criminal activity for an incident that allegedly took place in the dimly lit basement of the Cuyahoga County Administration Building.
Prosecutors said that the incident began in a room so secure that even building security was unable to unlock it. The room was isolated with nothing but heating and cooling equipment and computers with Internet access.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force confiscated a laptop computer that Silva allegedly used to solicit sex from a 14-year-old child.
"All I know is that he was having online conversations and he agreed to a meeting with someone he was conversing with, and that person was likely a child," county administrator David Reines said.
Prosecutors said that Silva thought he was going to meet a teen-ager at Brookpark City Park. Instead, police were waiting. They arrested Silva on charges that he tried to solicit sex over the Internet.
Taxpayers with whom Action News talked were appalled that the incident might have happened, especially at a time when Silva should have been working for the county.
"We're paying taxes for city officials and we expect them to follow regular procedures," one person said. "We put our faith in these people to run the city for us. It should be handled severely."
Silva is nowhere to be found at the county building. He's on unpaid leave pending the outcome of his case. He could not be reached for comment.