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Investigator: Life ahead for Dimora and Russo

4:37 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Now that Jimmy Dimora has been sentenced in federal court to 28 years in prison, where he actually ends up is the next question that needs to be answered.

And what happens to Dimora's partner in crime, former county auditor Frank Russo who snitched on Jimmy, will not be known for at least a year.

Dimora will remain in the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown for about one more month while the Federal Bureau of Prisons decides where to put him.

His 28-year sentence will more than likely mean he will be housed in a medium-security facility. Those facilities have locking cell doors, and Dimora will have a bunk mate.

He will arise at 6:30 am every morning, have a job at the prison unit (e.g., emptying garbage cans), with lights out at 11:30 pm each night.

The Bureau of Prisons will decide as it reviews his case at a facility in Grand Prairie, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Reports used in sentencing -- profiling Dimora's health concerns, his security risks, age and other factors -- will be used in deciding what facility will be his new home.

Neither Dimora nor his lawyers will go before the panel, and it will not be announced where Dimora will be residing until he actually is sleeping in a bunk at one of the prison facilities.

Dimora's lawyers have requested that he be sent to the Federal Correctional Center in Butner, North Carolina, because of their concerns about Dimora's health.

The Butner facility has one of the largest prison health centers in the country. U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi publicly backed Dimora going to North Carolina during the sentencing hearing.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said the process usually takes about a month in a case like this, and given his sentence, a medium security prison would be likely.

If Judge Lioi makes a formal recommendation of a particular federal prison "the bureau of prisons does not consider it an order, but it does carry some weight and the bureau of prisons does try to accommodate those requests," Burke said.

Famous inmates currently at Butner include Ponzi scheme thief Bernie Madoff. Reagan assassin John Hinkley, Jr and televangelist Jim Bakker spent time in Butner.

 Jonathon Pollard, Navy spy who stole US intelligence for Israel, is also doing time there currently.

"It's the crown jewel of the federal prison system," Alan Ellis, a former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and an expert on sentencing and prisons told Bloomberg News last year. "It's a very well-run facility."

What happens to Russo will play out after he testifies against several others involved in the bribery probe, cases that will not come to any conclusion until at least a year from now.

Russo is hoping his testimony against others will drastically reduce his nearly 22-year prison term that comes with his guilty plea deal.

It is very likely that Russo will serve far less time than Dimora, even though his corruption was far more costly to the taxpayers of Cuyahoga County.

Judge Lioi set the cost of Dimora's case at $451,000 during the sentencing hearing. But according to plea deals with Russo and his bagman, Sandy Klimkowski, Russo pocketed at least $1.25 million in cash kickbacks.

Russo is still free in his plea deal and was nowhere to be found this week.     

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