Calvin Robinson, the last of 13 Cleveland firefighters accused of illegally paying co-workers to cover assigned shifts, pleaded guilty to low-level charges, reports cleveland.com.
Robinson was the most prolific example of shift trading abuses identified by an audit that ultimately led to charges against him and his colleagues, prosecutors said.
Assistant County Prosecutor Jennifer O’Malley said each year Robinson made his $53,890 salary and earned $27,000 in benefits while missing nearly 8,456 hours of work — roughly 3 1/2 years of work.
O’Malley said Robinson paid other firefighters to cover his shifts so he could work as a substitute Cleveland teacher, an assistant Glenville High School football coach and operate a childcare center.
O’Malley said Robinson paid other firefighters using checks from a daycare center he owned. She asked for a maximum fine of $1,000.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Friedland today accepted Robinson’s plea to the misdemeanor charge of complicity to receiving unlawful compensation and ordered him to pay court costs but no fines.
Robinson’s attorney, Henry Hilow, disputed the prosecutor’s facts in terms of the days his client missed. Hilow said the real problem wasn’t hard working community members like Robinson, who mentors children and does public service, but the way the city safety officials managed the department.
The shift trading was allowed under the city’s contract with the fire union, attorneys said.
“I’m just sorry about the whole situation.,” Robinson said, telling the judge he never meant to bring shame to the city.
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