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County corruption: Dimora gets loan to pay attorneys

3:49 PM, Mar 1, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- According to filings in the U.S. District Court, Fifth Third Bank agreed to lend Dimora $240,000 to pay for his legal defense against the 26 corruption charges against him.

Dimora had been unable to borrow the money before because federal prosecutors had a lien against his $438,000 Independence home in case he is convicted and didn't have the money to pay any possible court-ordered restitution.

U.S. District Judge Kate O'Malley said previously that Dimora, not taxpayers, would have to pay for his own defense. He is now represented by attorneys Bill and Andrea Whitaker.

His previous attorneys, Richard Lillie and Gretchen Holderman, asked the court to remove them from the case because they weren't being paid.

According to court papers, prosecutors have agreed to subordinate their potential claim -- meaning they would lower their priority -- on Dimora's house if he is convicted.

O'Malley has already ordered Dimora to make a $20,000 initial payment to pay for his lawyers, then $2,500 a month after that money was paid out.

Dimora, who is unemployed right now, was the former chairman of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party and served as the Cuyahoga County Commissioner until Dec. 31, when the new reform government got underway Jan. 1.

On July 28, 2008, almost 200 FBI and IRS agents raided the homes, offices and businesses of county officials and contractors.

WKYC-TV

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