Motion hearing in Dimora corruption case

3:29 PM, Jan 10, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- The corruption trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora may have been delayed but U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi is holding a motion hearing at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Read Dimora's appeal  to Court of Appeals (PDF)

On Monday, after the jury had been selected last week, Lioi ordered the trial delayed until Jan. 27 or until the Sixth District Court of Appeals rules on an appeal of her denial to halt the trial on the grounds of double jeopardy.

In the appeal, Dimora's attorneys, the father-daughter team of Bill and Andrea Whitaker, are challenging the first of two corruption indictments against him.

Dimora, 56, of Independence, claims two indictments amount to double jeopardy, or being prosecuted twice for the same crime.

Dimora wanted the federal appeals court in Cincinnati to halt his trial on the first indictment while it considers the issue. Since Lioi has already done that, the appeal now is based almost solely on the double jeopardy issue.

The appeals court has not yet assigned a judge or judges to hear the appeal but federal prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday morning to expedite the ruling.

Prosecutors deny Dimora is facing double jeopardy.

In this case, Dimora has pleaded not guilty to 36 counts of bribery, taking kickbacks, conspiracy, steering county contracts and hiring people who have paid for the employment.

The FBI and the IRS have been publicly investigating corruption in county government since July 28, 2008 but said the work has been in progress since 2005.

Dimora and former Cuyahoga County Frank Russo were the main targets of the investigation. Russo has already pleaded guilty, been sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison and has been testifying against other defendants.

Russo, 62, of Bratenahl, was a close friend and political ally of Dimora's and is expected to testify against him.


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