Dimora trial: Feds get delay in Russo prison date

4:54 PM, Feb 7, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Federal prosecutors were granted a delay in the reporting date for Frank Russo, the main witness in Cuyahoga County corruption trial against Jimmy Dimora.

Federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi late Monday night to postpone the Feb. 29 prison reporting date for former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, Lioi granted the delay, with no new reporting date set.

The feds want him available to testify at the Akron trial of Dimora, Russo's longtime friend and Democratic political ally. That trial is in its 18th day and is expected to last a total of three months.

Dimora has pleaded not guilty to 36 counts of bribery and racketeering and the trial began in early January.

Prosecutors say Russo's testimony also is needed at other trials, including one beginning in June.

That would be the trial of Samir Mohammad, a trial scheduled to start June 8. Mohammad, who has been charged with bribery and racketeering, was a former deputy auditor in Russo's office.

Russo has remained free since his guilty plea to bribery on 21 counts in 2010.

He was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison and hopes to trim his sentence with his testimony. Russo testified last summer in the trials of former Cuyahoga County judges Bridget McCafferty and Steven Terry.

Both McCafferty and Terry were found guilty. McCafferty began serving her 14-month prison term on Sept. 15, 2011. McCafferty was found guilty on 10 counts of lying to the FBI.

WKYC-TV/The Associated Press

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