Mayor hires former councilwoman convicted for accepting bribes

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Former Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott resigned in 2009 for personal reasons, and two years later she pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe from a contractor.

She is now back working for the city, hired as the Deputy Program Manager for the Public Utilities Department.

Mayor Frank Jackson says he hired her not just because he believes she deserves a second chance but because he she was the best person for the job.

“Second chance, yes, but more than that because you can’t give a second chance to somebody who isn’t qualified to do the job,” Jackson said. “She is extremely qualified.”

The mayor said Scott previously managed a financial institution and spent years working in the community.

Jackson hired her in June, and she is now earning $55,000 a year.

Many in the community, including city Councilman Zack Reed, say they don’t have a problem with Scott being hired.

“I believe everybody deserves a second chance and she has gotten a second chance to do public service,” Reed said.

And Derek Woodall , a Cleveland resident, agrees.

“Everybody deserves a second chance,” Woodall said.

But others say they don’t understand why the mayor didn’t hire someone who is qualified that doesn’t have a corruption conviction.

“Well I think there is enough other qualified people that you don’t have to have somebody convicted of corruption,” said Leslie Douglas.