Edward "Ed" Esposito is vice-president, information media for the Rubber City Radio Group. He oversees news and public affairs programs for www.AkronNewsNow.com, 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE and 94.9 WQMX. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation; a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation and a former president of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He's also served as a member of the Akron Press Club , Kent State University Student Media Advisory Board, Ohio Open Government Coalition, Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He's lectured on broadcasting and journalism for the University of Missouri in China, as well as across the country for RTDNA and RTDNF. You can reach Ed through the newsroom at 330-864-6397 or by email email@example.com
Gunfire at play in Montrose is a relatively rare occurrance -- except for Friday, when a man was shot after what's being described as a "verbal altercation." Bath Township police say the 44-year old victim, a former Navy Seal, tried to follow his assailants but drove himself to the Bath Police Department headquarters despite "bleeding profusely" from the abdomen. The vehicle carrying three individuals was last seen heading toward the entrance ramp on I-77 northbound from Ghent Road and is described as a gray "low profile sports car" with a raised spoiler, black rims and trim, tinted windows and a performance-style muffler.
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(Bath Police Department) Bath police are seeking witnesses to a Friday, March 28 at the West Market Plaza, 3800 Medina Rd., Bath Township. A 44-year old Medina man sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen following a verbal altercation at 5:25 p.m.
The suspects fled the shooting in a motor vehicle described as a low profile sports car. The car was a shade of gray described as neither primer nor metallic. It had a raised spoiler on the trunk and black rims. There was a dark black tint on the side rear windows and back window. The muffler was a performance style muffler with a loud noise.
The vehicle traveled north on N. Cleveland Massillon Road and turned southeast onto Ghent Rd. It was last seen at the traffic light at Ghent Rd. and entrance ramp to Interstate 77 north.
The vehicle was occupied by three male subjects. Two are described as African-American. The third subject was seated behind the rear seat tinted window.
The victim, a former Navy Seal, attempted to follow the suspects but realized he was bleeding profusely. He drove himself to the Bath Township Police Department to seek help. Bath Township Fire Department personnel administered first aid and transported him to a local hospital. The victim remains hospitalized.
Police are reviewing numerous videos from local businesses to determine if the crime was recorded.
UPDATE : Summit County Common Pleas Judge Christine Croce has ordered Doug Prade to appear in her court for a hearing Thursday morning at 9 after the 9th District Court of Appeals Wednesday ruled that Prade, who was convicted of the 1997 murder of his ex-wife Dr. Margo Prade, should have never been released from prison by former Summit County Judge Judy Hunter based on new DNA evidence which his attornies claimed proved Prade's innocence.
Another reversal in the Doug Prade case. The 9th District Court of Appeals has issued an opinion that sides with prosecutors and says that post-relief conviction should never have been granted. The former Akron police captain was convicted for the 1997 murder of his estranged wife, Dr. Margo Prade. Doug Prade was released from prison, based on new DNA testing that ruled him out as the person who left DNA evidence through bite marks on Margo's lab coat. The appellate judges say that the meaningfulness of the new test results is unclear and given what they called the "enormity" of other evidence that points to Prade as the killer, they disagree with Judge Judy Hunter, who said that "no reasonable factfinder" would have found him guilty. The case now goes back to Summit County Common Pleas Court for reconsideration that is consistent with the appellate decision.
A copy of the Court's decision is attached to this story as a .pdf file.
The Plusquellic Administration winning a round in the State Supreme Court, which rules mayoral assistant Charles Brown could serve as acting police chief because the position doesn't exist.
The court also ruled Brown doesn't serve as deputy police chief either. The Court's ruling came on a challenge from six of the nine captains on the police department who contended the Mayor's appointment of Brown, who had retired in 2013 as a Lieutenant, overstepped them as the qualified contenders.
Brown served as acting chief for four days. In their 4-3 ruling, the Court reinforced the power of the Mayor to appoint and remove non-elected city officials.
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(Ohio Supreme Court) An assistant to the Akron mayor cannot be removed as acting city police chief because there is no such position, and he does not hold the office of deputy police chief so he cannot be ousted from that position either, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.
In a 4-3 decision, the court denied a request from nine captains in the Akron Police Department for a special order called a writ quo warranto to remove Charles Brown from two offices. The captains argue that they are eligible to serve in those positions while Brown is not.
Brown resigned as a police lieutenant in the department and was appointed in January 2013 as an assistant to the mayor and as assistant chief of police, a position not included in the police division's manual or the city's charter. In February, Akron's police chief appointed Brown to serve as acting chief of police for four days. Before that, the chief typically had named a police captain as acting police chief in his absence.
Since the captains filed their action, the chief has not appointed anyone as acting police chief in his absence, but instead has ordered that any issues be directed to the mayor.
In today's per curiam (not authored by a specific justice) opinion, the court determined that the evidence shows that "acting chief of police" is a temporary assignment filled only when the police chief is away for a brief time. The court stated that because acting police chief is not a public office to which anyone has a right, it is not an office from which a person can be removed by court order.
The captains also contended that Brown has been serving as de facto deputy chief of police. To be a de facto officer, Brown must appear to be in an office he is not entitled to hold and appear to be performing that office's duties and responsibilities, the court explained.
Akron's police department has no official deputy chiefs. The court stated that Brown does seem to carry out some duties usually done by a deputy chief, such as signing findings and recommendations while sitting on the city's firearms review board, overseeing the community relations office, and representing the chief at meetings and events, and he had been named assistant chief of police, a title he often has used publicly.
The court noted, however, that Brown does not claim to be a deputy police chief, and these facts do not necessarily support a court order to remove him.
"[T]o the extent that [the captains] question the legality of Brown's actions as an assistant to the mayor and assistant chief of police because those actions are normally performed only by a deputy chief, quo warranto cannot be used to oust him from his position," the court's opinion stated.
"The mayor of Akron has the power to 'appoint and remove all employees in both the classified and unclassified service, except elected officials,' and to exercise control over all departments and divisions," the opinion continued. "The mayor has the power to appoint Brown as an assistant to the mayor. If the duties Brown performs in that capacity violate the city's collective-bargaining agreement or state or federal law, [the captains] are free to pursue those theories. But the writ of quo warranto does not lie to oust Brown as assistant to the mayor even if Brown, as an assistant, performs duties that are more akin to the duties usually assigned to deputy chiefs." The court concluded that Brown is not a de facto deputy chief.
Making up the court's majority were Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Terrence O'Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy, and William M. O'Neill. Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger dissented in an opinion joined by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and Justice Judith L. French.
In her dissent, Justice Lanzinger agreed with the majority's decision that the court cannot remove Brown as acting chief of police because that position is a temporary assignment rather than a public office. However, she would order Brown to be removed from performing the duties of deputy chief because he is unlawfully serving as a de facto deputy chief.
Justice Lanzinger wrote that this is not a situation where the writ is being sought to test the legality of Brown's actions but that instead the captains are asserting that Brown usurped or intruded on the office of deputy chief.
"The majority in part justifies denying the writ on the fact that Brown does not claim to be a deputy police chief," she continued. "Such a claim, however, would not be in his interests. If Brown claimed he held the position, it would be readily apparent that he has usurped, intruded, or unlawfully exercised that public office. Instead, he refers to himself as 'assistant chief of police,' a position the majority acknowledges does not exist under the city charter."
"In my view, sufficient evidence exists to show that respondents have sidestepped the provision of the city charter that requires the deputy police chief to be a member of the classified civil service," she wrote. Brown's position as assistant to the mayor is unclassified. "By assigning Brown to perform the functions of a deputy police chief without actually appointing him to that position, respondents have circumvented civil-service requirements, a maneuver we have held to be improper," she concluded.
Looks like the battle between the Akron Bar Association, Akron Beacon Journal and reporter Phil Trexler is ending with a whimper.
The Bar Association wanted the newspaper and Trexler held in contempt for not testifying in it's investigation of local attorney Larry Shenise, who claimed he missed a hearing in Judge Paul Gallagher's court because he hadn't been notified. Gallagher was upset enough to file a complaint against Shenise, and the Bar Association wanted to force Trexler to testify beyond the quotes from Shenise in a story Trexler wrote. When Trexler and the paper refused, the lawyer's group sought a contempt ruling.
The newspaper and Trexler pushed back and the case went to the Ohio Supreme Court. In a ruling posted on the court's website today, justices denied the contempt motion from the Akron Bar Association and further quashed any other motions in the case.
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(Ohio Supreme Court) In Akron Bar Assn. v. Shenise, the court granted relator’s motion to dismiss the notice of appeal of the Beacon Journal Publishing Company and Phil Trexler, denied relator’s motion to hold Trexler in contempt, denied a request for a hearing by the Beacon and Trexler, and dismissed the case.
UPDATE: Mr. Alexander was found by his sister and safely returned to his residence.
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Canton PD issuing a missing adult alert overnight in the search for a disabled 46-year old man. Gary Alexander was reported missing; he suffers from seizures and need medication. Alexander was last seen on McKinley Avenue in North Canton.
He was last seen with a black and grey hoodie, black thermal shirt and blue jeans and walks with a limp.
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(Canton PD) A Missing Adult Alert has been issued by the Canton Police Department for Stark County.Information as of: March 11, 2014 at 2:16 AMBe on the lookout for a missing adult. On March 10, 2014 at 9:00 PM, Mr. Alexander left on foot his residence and has not returned.The incident took place in Stark County, OH McKinley Avenue North in the city of North Canton.The adult's name is Gary Lewis Alexander and the individual is missing. The adult is a White male, age 46, is 5'9" tall, weighs 140 lbs, has brown hair, and has blue eyes. Mr. Alexander suffers from seizures and is easily disoriented and is need of his medication. Mr. Alexander was seen wearing a black and grey hoodie, grey hat, black thermal shirt and blue jeans and walks with a limp.Call or dial 911 if you see the adult. You can also call 1-866-693-9171 to be transferred directly to the investigating law enforcement agency or to hear the alert information.To view photographs, visit the Endangered Missing Adult Alert website at: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Law-Enforcement/Local-Law-Enforcement/Missing-Adult-AlertTo unsubscribe reply to this email with "unsubscribe" as the subject or call (800) 325-5604.
The Ohio Supreme Court today applied common sense to the state's laws governing child enticement, ruling the law as written and applied is unconstitutional because it's too broad.
The case stemmed from a man charged in 2010 with child enticement for offering a neighborhood child money to help carry boxes into his apartment. The court ruled in a 5-2 decision that while the goal of protecting children was worthwhile, making such common behaviors as a coach driving a student athlete home to pickup forgotten equipment or even a senior citizen paying a teenager money to help with chores a violation of the law was itself unconstitutional.
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(Ohio Supreme Court) The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that Ohio's child-enticement statute is unconstitutional because it prohibits a significant amount of constitutionally protected activity.
In the 5-2 decision, authored by Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, the judgments of both the Tenth District Court of Appeals and the trial court were upheld because the broad language of the statute can lead to criminal charges against a person in many innocent situations.
Jason Romage of Columbus was charged with criminal child enticement in 2010. The complaint alleged that by offering money to a neighborhood child to carry some boxes to his apartment, he violated R.C. 2905.05(A). The law bars a person from knowingly soliciting, coaxing, enticing, or luring a child under age 14 to accompany the person in any manner without the permission of the parent or legal custodian. (The law includes exceptions for law enforcement, medics, firefighters, and others.)
Romage pled not guilty and asked the trial court to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the law was too broad. The trial court agreed. The state appealed the decision to the Tenth District, which upheld the trial court's decision.
The Tenth District notified the Supreme Court that its decision conflicted with a judgment from the First District Court of Appeals. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed and decided to hear the case. The court also accepted an appeal from the state.
In the court's majority opinion, Justice Lanzinger wrote: "We have held that 'protection of members of the public from sexual predators and habitual sex offenders is a paramount governmental interest.' ... Certainly, the safety and general welfare of children is even more deserving of governmental protection. But a statute that defines criminal conduct should not include what is constitutionally protected activity. Even though the state has a legitimate and compelling interest in protecting children from abduction and lewd acts, a statute intended to promote legitimate goals that can be regularly and improperly applied to prohibit protected expression and activity is unconstitutionally overbroad. ... R.C. 2905.05(A) is such a statute. ... The statute fails to require that the prohibited solicitation, coaxing, enticing, or luring occur with the intent to commit any unlawful act."
She noted that both a coach driving an elementary school student home to get a forgotten piece of equipment and a senior citizen offering to pay money to a 13-year-old for help with a household chore could be charged with criminal child enticement under the law.
Even if the court narrowly defined the word "solicit" in the statute, the law "would still criminalize a substantial amount of activity protected by the First Amendment," Justice Lanzinger wrote.
"The statute forbids anyone other than the legal custodian of a child, those listed in R.C. 2905.05(A)(2), or those who have the legal custodian's express permission to solicit a child under the age of 14 to accompany the person 'in any manner' for any purpose," she continued. "The motivation for the solicitation is irrelevant. There is no requirement that the offender be aggressive toward the victim. One need not have intent to commit a crime. Short of rewriting R.C. 2905.05(A), which is the province of the legislature rather than the court, we cannot construe the statute in such a way as to find it constitutional."
She also reasoned that the court cannot sever the word "solicit" from the law to keep it from being declared unconstitutional.
"[T]he remaining language — that no person may 'coax, entice, or lure any child ... in any manner' — still encompasses a wide range of innocent and protected conduct. An elderly person offering a child under 14 years old money to come with her to help with chores is more than merely asking, and this activity would arguably constitute coaxing, enticing, or luring. ... In other words, severance of the single word does not transform the statute into a constitutional one. The statute would still capture a substantial amount of protected conduct because without a criminal-intent requirement, it is still not narrowly tailored to achieve the state's interest in protecting children."
Joining the court's majority were Justices Paul E. Pfeifer, Terrence O'Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy, and William M. O'Neill. Justice Judith L. French dissented in an opinion joined by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor.
In her dissent, Justice French contended that the court should construe the term "solicit" narrowly instead of declaring the statute unconstitutional.
"The majority reads 'solicit' out of context and uses the broadest definition it can find — 'merely asking' — which it borrows from an appellate decision," Justice French wrote. "By its use of a sweeping, out-of-context definition, the majority ignores the principle that courts should refrain from striking down a statute on First Amendment grounds whenever 'a limiting construction has been or could be placed on the challenged statute.'... When reading the word 'solicit' with its neighboring operative verbs — 'coax, entice, or lure' — one can reasonably find a more sinister connotation. Solicit can mean to 'lead astray' or 'lure on and esp. into evil.' (Emphasis added.) ... Applying this narrower construction, I cannot conclude that R.C. 2905.05(A) criminalizes a substantial amount of activity protected by the First Amendment."
The folks who run the Akron Marathon say it's worth a $6 million dollar boost to Akron's economy in direct and indirect impact. Nearly 15-thousand participants take part in the race, celebrating it's 12th running on September 27th.
A study from Kent State's Department of Economics pegs 87 jobs as created by the Marathon, a hefty increase from the prior year. Most of those taking part in the various races come from outside Summit and Portage Counties, putting Akron in the spotlight.
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(Akron Marathon) Heading into its 12th running this fall, the Akron Marathon, presented by Time Warner Cable, continues to be a significant economic contributor to the region’s economy while also having a substantial impact on the health of the race’s nearly 15,000 participants. The findings come from a pair of recently completed impact studies commissioned by the race.
“Akron and the surrounding communities are the lifeblood of our race, and we are proud of the ever-increasing impact the Akron Marathon has on our region,” said Anne Bitong, Akron Marathon Executive Director. “Not only is the race a proven vehicle of economic growth, but it’s also improving our participants’ quality of life of. That’s a win-win for everyone associated with the event.
”Conducted by Kent State University’s Department of Economics, The 2013 Akron Marathon: An Economic Impact Analysis found that the race generated approximately $6 million to the local economy in direct and indirect impact. Roughly $2.4 million was direct impact from the race participants and spectators in areas such as hotels, restaurants and retail. The study concluded that the Akron Marathon was responsible for the creation of 87 jobs in 2013 — a 45 percent increase over the previous year.
The Kent State research also determined that more than half of the participants (51.5 percent) came from outside of Summit and Portage counties. These “non-local” participants were responsible for nearly $4.5 million in direct and indirect impact to the local community.
“This economic impact study illustrates how important holding large events can be to the local economy. The Akron Marathon is uncommon in that the economic impact came from both out-of-town runners and guests as well as from local runners by keeping them from spending outside the local area. In total, $6 million was spent or kept in the local economy due to the race, which substantively improves local spending, local earnings and local employment,” said Shawn Rohlin who led the economic impact analysis.
According to the Health Impact Assessment of the 2013 Akron Marathon, conducted by the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA), the race also had many positive impacts on the overall health of the participants.Among the findings was the fact that an estimated (25-30 percent) of participants reduced their weight to the normal body mass index (BMI) range. The study also found that the race led to a reduction of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and overweight individuals among adults in Summit County. Based solely on weight reduction, the Akron Marathon saved the region an estimated $1 to $1.2 million in potential medical costs for 2013.
Additionally, the participants who reduced their BMI from overweight to normal were expected to increase their lifespan by 2-4 years.The Akron Marathon includes four events: the full marathon, the half marathon, the five-person team relay and the kids fun run. Through these events, the Akron Marathon has grown by more than 10,000 participants since its inaugural event in 2003.
The Akron Marathon offers the community a health-focused, fun-filled event that draws thousands of participants and spectators. The 12th annual event will be held September 27, 2014. Registration is available at akronmarathon.org. Rates are slated to increase again on April 1st.
The legal wrangling is on to consider the fate of the juvenile prosecutors say helped kill Margaret and Jeffrey Schobert of New Franklin last April.
Defense lawyers say now 15-year old Jamal Vaughn should not be considered an adult while prosecutors say Vaughn's IQ should not be part of the equation for Juvenile Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio to consider.
The Beacon Journal says Vaughn has a low IQ -- 70. His lawyer says transfer to an adult jail or prison would be like a death sentence. 19-year old Shawn Ford, former boyfriend of one of the Schobert's daughters, is charged with murder and could get the death penalty if convicted.
Prosecutors charge Vaughn weilded a knife in the murders while Ford beat the victims.
A boil water order is in effect for some Akron water customers living in Coventry Township. The boil advisory covers some residents in the 2900 and 3000 blocks of Manchester Road as well some residents in the 2900 block of Cormany Road, including the American Legion Post #566 and Lakeside Mobile Home Park. The boil advisory will last at least through Tuesday evening.
(City of Akron) Due to a water main break in Coventry Township, the Akron Water Department has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for Akron water customers between 2900 and 3011 Manchester Road, between 2974 to 2991 Cormany Road and a single resident on South Prior Road. This advisory includes the following specific locations:
2900 Manchester Road
2923 Manchester Road2960 Manchester Road - All residents of Lakeside Mobile Home Park
3011 Manchester Road – AutoZone
2974 Cormany Road - American Legion Post #566
2981 Cormany Road
2991 Cormany Road
3037 South Prior Road
Only locations listed above are included in the advisory. As a precaution, and in accordance with EPA regulations, customers are advised to boil their water until further notice. Water used for drinking or cooking should be brought to a full boil for a minimum of 2 minutes and returned to the proper temperature before use. This advisory will be in effect until further notice, but for a minimum of 24 hours.
This advisory is only in effect for these limited customers on Manchester Road, Cormany Road and South Prior Road.
A major black eye for the parent company of Bridgestone Americas, which has it's Technical Center here in Akron, as the Toyko-based Bridgestone Corporation will pay a $425 milllion dollar fine and plead guilty to criminal charges over price-fixing.
The U.S. Attorney's office says the conspiracy to fix prices involved anti-vibration rubber parts sold here in the U.S. and other global markets. The one-count felony charge was filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District in Toledo. Bridgestone, according the the news release from the Department of Justice, agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation of the auto parts industry.
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(US Attorney's Office - Department of Justice) Bridgestone Corp., a Tokyo, Japan-based company, has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $425 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices of automotive anti-vibration rubber parts installed in cars sold in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Toledo, Bridgestone engaged in a conspiracy to allocate sales of, to rig bids for and to fix, raise and maintain the prices of automotive anti-vibration rubber parts it sold to Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Suzuki Motor Corp., Isuzu Motors Ltd. and certain of their subsidiaries, affiliates and suppliers, in the United States and elsewhere. In addition to the criminal fine, Bridgestone also has agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing auto parts investigations. The plea agreement is subject to court approval.In October 2011, Bridgestone pleaded guilty and paid a $28 million fine for price-fixing and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in the marine hose industry, but did not disclose at the time of the plea that it had also participated in the anti-vibration rubber parts conspiracy. Bridgestone’s failure to disclose this conspiracy was a factor in determining the $425 million fine.“The Antitrust Division will take a hard line when repeat offenders fail to disclose additional anticompetitive behavior,” said Brent Snyder, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program. “Today’s significant fine reaffirms the division’s commitment to holding companies accountable for conduct that harms U.S. consumers.”According to the charges, Bridgestone and its co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy through meetings and conversations in which they discussed and agreed upon bids, prices and allocating sales of certain automotive anti-vibration rubber products. After exchanging this information with its co-conspirators, Bridgestone submitted bids and prices in accordance with those agreements and sold and accepted payments for automotive anti-vibration rubber parts at collusive and noncompetitive prices. Bridgestone’s involvement in the conspiracy to fix prices of anti-vibration rubber parts lasted from at least January 2001 until at least December 2008.“The Cleveland Division of the FBI is committed to aggressively investigating price-fixing and other antitrust violations,” said Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “The illegal activity in this case threatened the basic tenet of free competition. We are pleased with the acceptance of responsibility along with the significant penalty which will be paid by Bridgestone for this conspiracy to fix prices. Together with our partners in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, we will continue to combat illegal practices which threaten consumers across the United States.”Bridgestone manufactures and sells a variety of automotive parts, including anti-vibration rubber parts, which are comprised primarily of rubber and metal, and are installed in suspension systems and engine mounts as well as other parts of an automobile. They are installed in automobiles for the purpose of reducing road and engine vibration.Including Bridgestone, 26 companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in the department’s ongoing investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the automotive parts industry. The companies have agreed to pay a total of more than $2 billion in criminal fines. Additionally, 28 individuals have been charged.Bridgestone is charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries maximum penalties of a $100 million criminal fine for corporations. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.Today’s prosecution is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry, which is being conducted by each of the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement sections and the FBI. Today’s charge was brought by the Antitrust Division’s Chicago Office and the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office, with the assistance of the FBI headquarters’ International Corruption Unit and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.