Former head of Cleveland’s demolition department charged with soliciting and accepting bribes from contractors

Date Published: 
August 24, 2018
News Type: 
Press Releases
Program Area(s): 
Community Planning and Development

The former head of the City of Cleveland’s demolition department was charged in federal court with soliciting and accepting bribes from contractors in exchange for preferential treatment.

Rufus Taylor, 60, was charged in a criminal information with one count of bribery in a federally funded program and one count of extortion.

According to the criminal information filed in U.S. District Court:

Taylor was employed by the City of Cleveland as Chief of its Demolition Bureau. He was responsible for assigning “board-up” of vacant properties to contractors, emergency demolition jobs, and conducting inspections, which had to take place before a contractor could be paid, among other duties.

Taylor and a person identified in the charges as Contractor 1 met in November 2013 to discuss a demolition job on Parkwood Drive. The two agreed that Contractor 1 would pay Taylor $8,000 in cash in return for Taylor putting Contractor 1 on the bid list.

Contractor 1 was awarded the bid. Contractor 1 gave Taylor approximately $3,000 in cash on Dec. 4, 2013. Contractor 1 paid Taylor the additional $5,000 by November 2015...