Pretrial set for former Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman

CLEVELAND- A pretrial date has been set for former Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman.

Cimperman was indicted earlier this week on ethics violations and appeared in a Cuyahoga County courtroom Friday morning.

The councilman, who resigned from City Council back in 2016,  was indicted on 26 charges of "unlawful interest in a public contract."

The charges were filed in Cuyahoga County court. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor brought in a special prosecutor to handle the case.

In court Friday, Cimperman plead guilty to all 26 charges against him. The judge however, would not accept the  plea and instead set a pretrial hearing for May 8 in Judge Michael Russo's court,

Originally in court on Friday, it was stated that Cimperman could face one year in prison; however, the Auditor of State's Office later clarified that first-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in county jail.

"The Auditor of State’s office would like to clarify a statement made by Special Prosecutor Stephanie Anderson during this morning’s court proceedings in the Joe Cimperman case.

First-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in county jail. An incorrect potential sentence was mentioned in court."

He sent the following  statement to the Fox 8 I-TEAM Wednesday :

I am not contesting these charges as part of an agreement we have reached with the state of Ohio. I accept full responsibility for my actions and I apologize to anyone who may have been impacted by this. I look forward to having this investigation and legal process complete. Given that this is still an open case I cannot say anything more at this time.