Ex-Strongsville schools maintenance foreman faces jail time, admits ripping off school

Cleveland.com | Cory Shaffer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A former maintenance foreman at Strongsville City Schools faces jail time after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing more than $60,000 in district money that he used to outfit his Columbia Station home and to buy a custom-built John Deere utility vehicle.

Robert Schwerman, 49, stood before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Friedland dressed in a zipped hooded sweatshirt, jeans and tennis shoes. He pleaded guilty to theft in office and tampering with records charges, and agreed to repay the school.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Matthew Meyer, who assisted in the investigation, told Frieldand the state will not take Schwerman’s home if he makes good on his promise to repay the school.

Schwerman faces up to three years behind bars. Friedland could also sentence him to probation.

His sentencing date was not immediately scheduled.

A grand jury indicted Schwerman in May on the two criminal counts, several months after school officials received anonymous tips about Schwerman and reported the allegations to Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office.

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