Jimmy Dimora trial links Parma project to post-Vegas calls

11:18 AM, Jan 17, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Day 3 of the Jimmy Dimora trial got underway Tuesday morning in federal court here with FBI Special Agent Michael Massie continuing on the witness stand.

Massie has been on the stand since Thursday afternoon as Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Rowland questions him.

Most of the testimony Massie has given so far had focused on a trip that Dimora and several others took to Las Vegas in April, 2008.

Tuesday's testimony began with a call between former Cuyahoga County Engineer's office employee J. Kevin Kelley and Ferris Kleem, a businessman who met up with Dimora, Kelley and several others in Las Vegas.

Kleem and Kelley have both been charged in the corruption probe, have pleaded guilty, are awaiting sentencing, and are on the witness list to testify against Dimora.

Federal prosecutors allege that Kleem, owner of Blaze Construction, paid for most of the Las Vegas trip for the others.

A call on April 10, 2008, was the day after the Las Vegas trip ended.

Played in court, Kelley is heard to say to Kleem, "I owe you some money..."  to which Kleem replied, "I don't want to hear about that any more. Just take care of me sometime."

Kleem had just lost out on the bid for construction of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center to low bidder Panzica Construction.

Kleem's Blaze Construction was trying to get the contract for the $2.8 million Snow Road repair and resurfacing project in Parma.

Kleem was also trying to get John Chyla, an employee in the Cuyahoga County Engineer's office, appointed as inspector on the Snow Road project.

Two weeks after the Las Vegas trip, Chyla was appointed and within the month, Blaze was awarded the contract, county records show.

Days after the Las Vegas trip, a conversation between Kelley and Dimora was recorded regarding a dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Las Vegas.

It has Dimora telling Kelley, "I know Ferris picked up the tab for me."

Massie then continued his testimony regarding a $1,099 Panasonic TV delivered to Dimora's home in Independence with a receipt dated April 10, 2008, right after the Las Vegas trip.

It shows that the price had a $200 rebate so, with tax, the bill was $968.67. Kleem called Dimora's wife, Lori, to set up a delivery time and date.

This was the first time those in the courtroom had heard Lori Dimora's voice in a recorded conversation.

The TV was bought at Wellman and Griffith, the place where Kleem bought TVs for his Teamz restaurant in Berea.

Massie also testified that the white, side-by-side Whirlpool refrigerator in Dimora's kitchen at home was not paid for by Dimora but was paid for by FJR Properties, another one of Kleem's companies.


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