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FBI: Cleveland Schools Supervisor Charged With Extortion

NewsChannel5 has learned that a top supervisor with the Cleveland schools is accused of taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks.
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The FBI said a top supervisor was charged with taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

NewsChannel5 investigator Ron Regan said Bernard Watkins is the technical supervisor for safety and security in the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools.

He was charged with extortion Tuesday for allegedly taking $7,000 in kickbacks from a company doing business with the school system.

Prosecutors said that Watkins demanded and received cash payments from a company that was trying to get a contract for security systems in the school district. But a representative from that company, Vision Security Solutions based in Galveston, Texas, blew the whistle and contacted the FBI.

Watkins reportedly said he needed an envelope containing cash and expected to get 3 to 5 percent of the value of the contract, Regan said.

Watkins was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.