Ex-poverty group leader admits to bribery, fraud

CLEVELAND (AP) — The former head of an agency that oversaw Head Start and certain Cleveland-area anti-poverty programs has pleaded guilty in federal court for accepting more than $23,000 in illegal goods and services.

Sixty-nine-year-old Jacqueline Middleton of Shaker Heights resigned in April from the Council of Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland after it became known she was under investigation. She pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of honest services fraud, one count of bribery in federally funded programs and one count of Hobbs Act Conspiracy.

Prosecutors say Middleton accepted work on her home and other things of value from two contractors who worked for the agency.

Messages left for Middleton's attorneys were not returned Thursday.

Middleton is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 3.

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