Judge won't dismiss charges against county corruption defendant

6:37 PM, May 26, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- A federal judge won't dismiss corruption charges against Cuyahoga County Common Please Judge Steven Terry

Late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi denied a motion to dismiss charges that he accepted help on his election campaign from former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo in exchange for favors, according to federal court records.

Terry is charged with five fraud-related counts.

Jury selection is set to begin June 2 with opening statements in his trial expected to be heard June 6.

Terry's attorneys said that the charges involve him allegedly giving someone appearing before him an unfair advantage at the request of Russo and attorney Joe O'Malley.

Terry's attorneys said it was a matter of law that had Terry take the action -- dismissing motions of summary judgement -- and there was no favoritism, so the charges should be dropped.

Court documents allege that Russo specifically asked Terry to dismiss motions for summary judgment, which he subsequently did.

Terry, 53, was appointed in 2007. Prosecutors say he received help on his election campaign from Russo in exchange for favors, like hiring Russo's housemate, Michael Calabrese.

Terry was charged Sept. 15, 2010. O'Malley pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about Russo's help with the cases. Terry is the former director of the Cuyahoga County Justice Services office.


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