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Former Head Of Cleveland Demolitions Charged With Bribery, Extortion

Cleveland City Hall [Nick Castele / ideastream]
Cleveland City Hall

Federal prosecutors say the former head of Cleveland’s demolition bureau accepted bribes from contractors in exchange for help obtaining work with the city.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio charged Rufus Taylor with one count of bribery and one count of extortion.

Prosecutors allege that he accepted $8,000 from a contractor between 2013 and 2015 in exchange for helping the company get city demolition work. They say Taylor asked for another $12,000 after telling the contractor about an emergency job but never got the money.

He’s also accused of receiving $5,800 from a second contractor he tipped off about bids.

Taylor was charged Friday afternoon by information—a charging document filed in lieu of a grand jury indictment that can indicate a plea deal has been reached. The document doesn’t name the contractors.

An attorney for Taylor declined to comment.

A city spokesman said Taylor had been with the city for 30 years and retired in January.

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.