Court: No Dimora hearings Monday or Tuesday

9:59 AM, Jan 9, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Federal Judge Sara Lioi won't hear arguments Monday or Tuesday on motions from federal prosecutors or defense attorneys in the county corrution trial of former Cuyahoga County Commisioner Jimmy Dimora.

That decision was made public early Monday morning. On Friday, Lioi had said she would hear arguments starting at 8 a.m. Monday.

The trial, which began Wednesday, has come to a halt while Lioi and attorneys for both sides wait for a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on an appeal filed Wednesday night by Dimora's attorneys.

They seek to halt the trial, saying that not combining this first trial with the anticipated second trial on similar charges would amount to double jeopardy.

Judge Sara Lioi already ruled on not combining the two trials and said that double jeopardy -- being tried twice for the same crimes -- does not apply at this point. Dimora's attorneys, the father-daughter team of Bill and Andrea Whitaker, are appealing Lioi's ruling.

This trial, with co-defendant Michael D. Gabor, involves the 36 charges brought against Dimora and Gabor on Sept. 15, 2010. The second trial would involve additional charges brought against Dimora on Oct. 21, 2011, along with co-defendant Michael Forlani.

To date, the trial got underway Jan. 4 in federal court in Akron with jury selection.

Just after 1:30 p.m. Friday, a jury was seated. Seven men and five women, all white, will be on the jury, with six alternates also selected.

The alternates are four women and two men, with one of the women being African American.

Lioi told jury members they would not begin work until next Wednesday at the earliest.

It had been expected that opening arguments would begin Monday.

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