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Landscaper sentenced for role in school corruption case

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Charles E. Edwards must spend eight months on house arrest and pay a $4,000 fine.

cleveland.com | January 7, 2011

AKRON, Ohio – A landscaper was sentenced to eight months of house arrest in connection with bribes paid to Maple Heights school officials.

Charles E. Edwards, 42, of Mantua, also must pay a $4,000 fine. He already has turned over $4,000 to the school district.

Edwards was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Adams. The judge directed Edwards to assist in paying $35,502 in restitution to the school district for its costs in the corruption investigation. Several other defendants are also responsible for that money.

Edwards, owner of C. Edwards Landscape Inc., was indicted in August for three bribery-related crimes. He plead guilty to the charges in early October.

Edwards apologized in court for his actions.

He admitted taking $3,000 provided to him by Kenneth Kushmider and giving it to Steven Canepa, then the district manager of business affairs, for a new shed.

In exchange, Canepa helped with the awarding of work to Kushmider's business, Landscape Design Associates, and C. Edwards Landscape.

Edwards also admitted that he and Kushmider provided landscaping valued at $5,100 to Christopher Krause, the district's treasurer at the time, in exchange for Krause helping get the two companies district work.

Kushmider has admitted to giving $3,000 and landscaping work for about $170,000 in school contracts.
 

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