Former RTA board president pleads guilty to theft in office

Former RTA board president pleads guilty to theft in office
George F. Dixon III

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s former board president pleaded guilty to theft in office Tuesday.

George Dixon worked at RTA for 24 years.

In 2018, RTA’s Internal Audit Department discovered the fraud and turned their findings over to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ohio auditor and the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Dixon resigned on March 29, 2018.

RTA is pursuing, through insurance claim recovery, the more than $1.1 million in healthcare benefits and unpaid premiums for insurance provided by RTA for a 24-year period ending on March 1, 2018. The Board policy at the time stated that trustees could enroll in RTA’s healthcare plan but had to pay 100% of the healthcare premiums to be eligible. The investigation showed that Mr. Dixon enrolled in April of 1994 and never fully paid his premiums in accordance with board policies. The Board changed the policy in May 2018: Trustees are no longer eligible for RTA’s healthcare plan.
Dennis M. Clough, President, RTA Board of Trustees and Mayor of Westlake

A timeline shows from 1996 to 2001, human resources sent Dixon 17 notifications he was past due on his health insurance premiums.

Over the next 17 years, human resources continued to send him letters showing “balance owed,” but his health coverage continued.

Mr. Dixon abused the public’s trust for personal benefit. We are encouraged to see that justice is being served. We do not tolerate abuse of taxpayer money, and we have controls in place to prevent this from happening again.
Dennis M. Clough, President, RTA Board of Trustees and Mayor of Westlake

Dixon is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2020.

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