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Three other possible witnesses against Dimora

4:17 PM, Dec 20, 2011   |    comments
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At least three other defendants awaiting sentencing could likely take the witness stand against Jimmy Dimora.

The FBI and IRS first raided the homes and businesses of county officials, employees and local businessmen on July 28, 2008, including the homes and offices of Dimora and then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo.

The initial raid also included the home and office of J. Kevin Kelley and the offices of  several businesses, including D-A-S Construction in Garfield Heights and Blaze Construction in Berea.

  • J. Kevin Kelley is the former Geographic Information Systems project manager in the Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office and former president of the Parma City School District Board of Education.

Kelley, along with Kevin F. Payne (retired chief of staff for the engineer's office who died on Nov. 21, 2010), Daniel P. Gallagher (also a retired chief of staff in the engineer's office) and Brian Schuman (former co-executive director of the Alternatives Agency) were the first four to be indicted in the corruption probe on June 12, 2009.

Kelley, 41, was charged with nine counts of bribery and one count of fraud for his activities as either a county employee or during his term as president of the school board.

Kelley, who was also the principal partner in J. Kevin Kelley Consulting, LLC., pleaded guilty on July 1, 2009, is still awaiting sentencing and is thought to have provided federal prosecutors with a lot of information about many other defendants.

Kelley, who moved his family to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area of Florida in mid-2009, faces about six years in prison. He has often been noted as one of the linchpins in the FBI's cases.

  • Steve Pumper, chief executive officer of D-A-S Construction, was charged on July 8, 2009, pleaded guilty July 17, 2009, and is awaiting sentencing.

Pumper, 46, was charged with nine counts that include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to obstruct justice and mail fraud.

The charges against Pumper accuse him of doing thousands of dollars of work at Dimora's home since 2002, including installing an irrigation system outside Dimora's home, building a roof over a patio and bathhouse at Dimora's home, giving $33,000 worth of bribes to Dimora and paying for entertainment including Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians tickets.

Pumper also testified in the trial of former Cuyahoga County Judge Bridget McCafferty, confirming wiretaps that were played for the jury regarding a case before McCafferty and have McCafferty saying to Pumper that she wished she could have done more for him, prompting him to respond by saying he would see her at her next fundraiser.

  • Ferris Kleem, 51, of Berea, pleaded guilty May 7, 2010 to conspiracy to commit bribery and is awaiting sentencing. The owner of Blaze Construction, Blaze Building and Phoenix Cement, admitted in court that he hired a prostitute in 2008 for Dimora as part of a bribery scheme.

Kleem also said he gave $24,000 worth of bribes to county officials. Kleem is cooperating with federal prosecutors and will likely only face one to two years in prison, according to the plea agreement.

Kleem was also charged with bribing then Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo. Kleem admitted buying Dimora a television, a refrigerator and gave him $2,000 toward a Rolex watch.

Federal prosecutors said the charges against Kleem centered on an April, 2008 trip to Las Vegas in which Kleem showered Dimora and Russo with $6,000 cash for entertainment.


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