Dimora trial: Kelley says he took bribe from legislator

8:06 PM, Feb 3, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Federal prosecutors' key witness J. Kevin Kelley says he accepted a $10,000 bribe from his distant cousin, Ohio state Sen. Tom Patton.

Patton, a Strongsville Republican who's been a senator since 2008, has not been charged with a crime and has flatly denied that he paid a bribe and said that "never happened."

Patton also served as a state representative 2003-2008 and Kelley was not specific as to what year he allegedly received the payment from Patton.

On Thursday, also regarding the Parma school baord, Kelley also testified that he took a $500 bribe from a school concrete supplier and $35,000 from then-school district attorney Anthony O. Calabrese III.

That admission was among several that Jimmy Dimora's defense attorney Andrea Whitaker elicited from Kelley as Kelley continued on the witness stand Friday morning.

Kelley is a former Cuyahoga County Engineer's office employee and a former Parma School board member. He has pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is cooperating with the government.

Amid statements about drinking, dining at Delmonico's steak house and details about prostitutes servicing Dimora and co-defendant Michael Gabor, Kelley talked about how he made money from sources other than his county and school board job.

Kelley testified Thursday and again Friday that he took a $10,000 bribe from Patton for business relating to the Parma school board.

Patton is a consultant for Blue Technologies. That company did just under $500,000 worth of business in a seven-year period with the school board between 2001 and 2008.

Kelley testified that at first Blue Technologies had the low bid on the contract, but that Kelley received the bribe after the school board continued to award the contract to the company without new bids.

Calabrese has already been charged with bribery and has pleaded not guilty.

Dimora, 56, of Independence, has pleaded not guilty to more than 30 corruption-related charges. Gabor, 52, of Parma, has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges and tampering with a witness.


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