I-TEAM: Cleveland bar owner sentenced for bribing police officer

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has obtained the undercover video that just resulted in a Cleveland bar owner getting sent to prison for bribing police.

On Thursday, a judge sentenced Andrew Long to a year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Long owns the Duck Island Club, a tiny bar on the city’s near west side. Cuyahoga County prosecutors built a bribery case against him saying he was looking for protection so that his bar would not get cited for operating after hours.

Andrew Long (Photo courtesy: Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department)

The undercover video was recorded by a Cleveland Police officer.

You hear the officer say, “You’ve been cited a couple times in the past, and you don’t want to get cited.” Long answers, “Right.”

The officer then asks, “Do you want an officer here, or do you just want information? What do you want?” Long then says, “My goal is to not get busted by Vice or the State anymore. Whatever I need to do.”

At one point he adds,  “I just want to be off the (expletive) list. I just don’t want to get in trouble for after hours anymore.”

Later, the officer asks, “So, 300 bucks a night?” Then Long says, “Every other week. Every other week.”

In court, Long told the judge, “I’m very apologetic for what happened.” He said he’d tried to live  “a good and honorable life.”

Long had plead guilty to bribery and faced Cuyahoga County Judge David Matia for sentencing.

The judge didn’t want to hear any talk of honor.

Judge Matia said, “What you did here is you bribed a police officer. You didn’t attempt to bribe a police officer.”

He added, “Pure greed in action.”

The judge pointed out this is a lot more serious than getting pulled over in a traffic stop and claiming to be friends with a cop.

In fact, Cuyahoga County prosecutors have a text message with Andrew Long saying, “We’re staying open late again. I made a friend with the police.”

In the end, there was no way of talking his way out of that video.

The officer asked Long, “You want officers off your back?” And, he can be heard responding, “Yeah,  I just want them off my back.”

Meantime, the I-TEAM has also learned the investigation surrounding all of this is still ongoing. However, authorities are not commenting.

The conversation captured undercover actually happened in 2019. Judge Matia pointed out Andrew Long and his attorney are to blame for dragging the case out until now.

And, the bar still could get hit with state penalties for liquor law violations.

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