Cuyahoga County Grand Jury returns indictments against one current, two former public officials

CLEVELAND – A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on Friday announced indictments against one current and two former county public officials.

According to a press release from Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney Michael C. O’Malley, the officials are: Emily McNeeley, former General Counsel for Cuyahoga County’s Department of Information Technology (IT) and Assistant Law Director; Ken Mills, former Cuyahoga County Regional Corrections Director; and Douglas Dykes, Cuyahoga County Chief Talent Officer.

The press release states McNeeley and Mills resigned from their positions and are no longer employed by the county.

Below is a look at the indictments as listed in the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's press release:

(Indictment, counts 1- 4) On September 19, 2016, McNeely, in her role as IT General Counsel/Assistant Law Director, appeared before County Council to recommend the award of a $9 million contract to Ciber, Inc. for an IT contract. During that presentation, McNeeley failed to disclose that her father, as Pennsylvania Turnpike Commissioner, was convicted of being bribed by Ciber and that Ciber had a record of defrauding other states with whom they had contracted. McNeeley’s material omission directly affected Council’s decision to award the contract to Ciber. Five months later, Ciber declared bankruptcy. The contract, signed by McNeeley, required Ciber to obtain a performance bond for their services, which they never did.

(Indictment, counts 5-17) From December 2016 through November 2017, McNeeley managed and steered county contracts totaling $1,275,076.91 with Hyland Software. McNeeley’s wife works as a high level manager in the government contracting division of Hyland and owns stock in the company. While employed by Cuyahoga County, McNeeley never disclosed her wife’s ownership interest in Hyland Software. McNeeley also disclosed confidential material on Hyland contracts to Hyland Software.

(Indictment, counts 18-25) On May 22, 2018, Ken Mills, working as the Cuyahoga County Regional Corrections Director, appeared before an emergency hearing of the Cuyahoga County Council to address jail medical services. During the hearing, Mills lied to Council about his role in blocking the hiring of necessary nursing staff for jail facilities. Then, on July 2, 2017, Mills lied to local and federal investigators about his interactions with a high-level Cuyahoga County official.

(Indictment, counts 26-29) Between July 24, 2017 and September 22, 2017, Douglas Dykes used his position as Chief Talent Officer for Cuyahoga County to convert improper moving expenses for Cuyahoga County Deputy Chief Information Officer James Hay into a $15,000.00 "signing bonus." Dykes asked for, but did not receive, authorization from County officials to change the improper moving expenses into a signing bonus. Dykes then lied to a County employee by falsely claiming that Cuyahoga County Law Director Robert Triozzi had approved the conversion of the improper moving expenses into a signing bonus.

Prosecutor O’Malley said Friday's indictments are the result of a "lengthy" investigation by employees of the prosecutor's office and agents from the Cleveland Office of the FBI.

In the press release, O' Malley said, "Ten years ago, County government drowned in a sea of corruption. Citizens rightly expected that the new form of County government would usher in an era of high ethical behavior and effective governance. Sadly, today’s indictments demonstrate that our new form of government has not met those expectations. Our investigation continues.”

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