Cuyahoga County

Brecksville Councilman Indicted for Unlawful Interest in City Contracts



CLEVELAND – Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that a grand jury has returned an indictment against John Petsche, 66, for having an unlawful interest in a public contract involving the construction of a new police station roof and for engaging in discussions for a contract involving the renovation of the city’s Aquatic Center. 

“Public servants are held to the highest ethical standard,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “This is a clear violation of the law.”

Petsche has been indicted on the following charges:

Three counts of Having An Unlawful Interest In A Public Contract
One count of Attempted Having An Unlawful Interest In A Public Contract

In November 2017, Petsche was elected as a council member for Brecksville City Council.  As a member of the council, Petsche voted on at least three matters regarding the funding of a contract involving a construction company with which he had a business interest.  However, Petsche failed to disclose the nature of that relationship to the city until August 2019, after his company had been paid $142,000.  He also engaged in discussions with another construction company for a separate project.  The City of Brecksville (COB) forwarded the allegations to the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC).

The OEC investigation revealed that in May 2014, the COB entered into a three-year contractual agreement with a construction company to build a new police station.  That company subsequently reached a $154,000 subcontractor agreement with USA Roofing – a company owned by Petsche – in December 2017, after he was elected.  Investigators uncovered that on at least three separate occasions between April 2018 and March 2019, Petsche voted to allow the city to acquire finances to pay the construction company, which then paid Petsche’s roofing company for their work.  

The investigation also revealed that in May 2019, the COB began taking quotes for renovations to the city’s Aquatic Center.  The day after bidding opened, Petsche contacted another construction company and engaged in subcontract discussions on behalf of his roofing business.

Petsche will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date.