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Investigator: A bumper crop of corruption busts

11:47 PM, Dec 30, 2010   |    comments
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After two years of denials, Russo finally came clean in September. He admitted accepting more than $1 million in kickbacks and using his clout to get friends jobs and contracts.

Russo, ever the politician, is now negotiating on a deal that would whittle down his nearly 22-year sentence by cooperating with investigators.  

Dimora, the county's former Democratic Party boss, is accused of being involved in one corrupt deal after another. In return, federal prosecutors say, Dimora got cash, free home improvements and sexual favors.

Dimora has pleaded not guilty but the commissioner is having trouble coming up with money to mount a defense.

Two county Common Pleas judges also got caught in the feds' net.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Bridget McCafferty is accused of lying to FBI agents about whether she fixed court cases for Russo and Dimora.

And Common Pleas Judge Steven Terry is charged with accepting bribes and political help from Russo for helping Russo's friend on a civil case.

In all, federal prosecutors have charged 47 defendants with corrupt activities. It's taken a toll on the public and cost taxpayers a bundle -- about $35 million, according to a Channel 3 News investigation in October.


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