Former VA Official Caught Up In Cuyahoga County Corruption Probe

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William Montague served as director of the Cleveland VA from 1975 to 2010, when he retired. He’s accused of soliciting and accepting bribes from contractor Michael Forlani, who himself is serving an eight-year sentence for racketeering and other charges for his illegal dealings with Cuyahoga County.

Forlani was the principal contractor during an extensive, $125-million consolidation of the Cleveland and Brecksville VA campuses – a project later blasted by the Inspector General’s Office as wasteful and ill-advised.

“This is part of the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation," says Michael Tobin. He's a spokesman for the U-S Attorney’s Office in Cleveland.

“Essentially, Mr. Montague is accused of accepting bribes in exchange using his position as the Director of the Cleveland VA Medical Center, to influence business in favor of the people who were giving him money.”

Specific charges include conspiracy, bribery, wire and mail fraud, money laundering and a variety of other crimes.

Montague has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His bond has been set at $100,000.

Another hearing will be held Monday.

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