Dimora trial: Pumper talks sex, jobs, a 'Dimora special'

11:49 PM, Feb 7, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, former D-A-S President Steven Wayne Pumper took the witness stand in Jimmy Dimora's public corruption trial.

Pumper, 47, resigned from the Garfield Heights-based company in April, 2009, then pleaded guilty in July, 2010 to nine corruption-related crimes, including bribery, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI.

"With the crimes I committed, I felt it necessary to resign from the company so the company could keep on moving forward," Pumper said early in his testimony Tuesday afternoon.

He also began talking about how he met Dimora and gave graphic details of the time he walked into a card party at the Stonebridge condo complex in the Flats, at the same time Dimora was coming out of a bedroom after having sex with a prostitute.

Later in his testimony, Pumper talked about a "Dimora special." He was referring to the "best deal on a loan that the county could give."

Just before court ended on Tuesday, prosecutors played wiretapped calls between Pumper and Dimora's co-defendant Michael Gabor. In December 2007, Pumper was in the process of hiring Gabor as a salesman for Green-Source, a company owned by Pumper's father.

Pumper said Gabor needed to let Dimora know soon about the job at Green-Source. Prosecutors asked why Pumper would say that.

Pumper said that Gabor "was going to bring Jimmy in on the backside." Asked what that meant, Pumper said that Gabor was going to be working on commission and "he would kick back part of his commission to Jimmy."

Prosecutors asked why the hiring of Gabor had to happen sooner rather than later. Pumper said that Dimora had been going back and forth then, which was late 2007, as to whether he would run for another term as commissioner.

Pumper said Gabor needed to start working soon "...while (Dimora) still has a seat on the board...and he would still be influential with some of his colleagues."

Asked to clarify what that meant for Dimora, Pumper testified that money would be going to Dimora through Gabor as "he'll be getting a cut of Michael Gabor's commission."  

Pumper, who was charged July 8, 2010 and pleaded guilty July 17, 2010, admitted to doing $20,000 worth of work at the houses of former Maple Heights School Board President Sandy Klimkowski and two of her relatives between October, 2003 and December, 2005 to influence 20 school board contracts valued at $458,600.

D-A-S took a profit of $117,000 from the contracts, according to Pumper's indictment. Klimkowski also worked for the Cuyahoga County Engineer's office.

In May 2008, the FBI confronted Pumper. At the time, Pumper was trying to bribe City of Cleveland building inspector Bobby Cuevas with $2,000. Pumper didn't know the inspector was working with the FBI.

According to previous testimony by FBI Special Agent Michael Massie, Pumper told the two FBI agents that it was not a bribe, just a loan to a friend.

But Pumper also said, "I know what you guys are looking for, you are looking for information about Commissioner Dimora and Auditor (Frank) Russo."

Klimkowski, 60, of Maple Heights, was charged with bribery involving Pumper and was also charged with participating in a scheme to defraud the Maple Heights City Schools by diverting school district property for her personal use and the personal use of others.

One instance was allowing a school district mobile classroom to be moved to private property to be used as a hunting cabin. She also was charged with making a false statement on her income tax returns by failing to report income she received from bribes. 

Over in the Parma school district, D-A-S got a $96,000 job in 2007 after Pumper allegedly paid former Parma school board member J. Kevin Kelley $6,000, according to the indictment.

The indictment also accused Pumper of giving then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora $33,000 in cash as bribes between early 2007 and about May 23, 2008.

Pumper was charged with mail and "honest services" fraud in connection with lining up work with another Cleveland business.

Pumper allegedly overcharged the company as a way to offset his giving trips and cash to company officials. The indictment states that D-A-S did $9.1 million of work for the company between 2003 and May 23, 2008, and took "an excess profit" of $491,000.

The indictment said Pumper obstructed justice between May 23, 2008, and Oct. 10, 2008. He allegedly created an invoice to hide work that D-A-S did at Dimora's house and for which Dimora hadn't paid.

"Was the commissioner ever billed for this?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon asked Pumper about a $1,793 job for irrigation lines in Dimora's backyard. "No," Pumper replied.

When D-A-S built a storage shed in Dimora's backyard, Bacon asked Pumper, "Did you prepare a quote or a contract for Commissioner Dimora?"  "No," Pumper testified again.

Pumper said his brother, who was a partner with him in D-A-S Construction, asked him if they would be getting any money out of all the projects at Jimmy Dimora's house. Pumper testified that he told his brother, "I'll take care of it."

Some other charges involve D-A-S projects to renovate Parkview Apartments, downtown, for which the county lent $2 million, and Green-Source Products, a company at 1170 Ivanhoe Road, in the Collinwood area in Cleveland, at which Pumper was just a partner and which received $1 million in county loans.

Pumper admitted using a D-A-S credit card to buy tickets for public officials. Prosecutors say Kelley and Klimkowski knew D-A-S did work for the canopied patio area and pool house at Dimora's home.

Pumper has been ordered to pay $320,000 in restitution to Cuyahoga County, the Maple Heights school district and the Parma school board.

Overall restitution is about $600,000, Pumper said Tuesday. He said he faces between six to fifteen years in prison.

Dimora, 56, of Independence, has been charged with 36 counts in his county corruption indictment, including bribery, accepting kickbacks and racketeering.

Federal prosecutors say Dimora and former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo were the main targets of the corruption probe. Kelley, Pumper and Michael Gabor were the next "top tier targets."

Russo has already pleaded guilty and faces 21 years and 10 months in prison. He is cooperating with prosecutors and will testify against Dimora and co-defendant Gabor later in the trial.

Count 20 of Dimora's indictment is related to Pumper and his businesses related to the HUD-financed Parkview Apartments, formerly the Allerton Hotel.

Count 21 of Dimora's indictment is related to Pumper and his businesses, and Count 22 in Dimora's indictment has to do with Dimora's alleged interference in Pumper's divorce case in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.

Count 22 of Dimora's indictment is for bribery related to Pumper and his businesses that were related to the construction of the Juvenile Justice Center and other projects.

Counts 23 and Count 24 of Dimora's indictment were related to bribery related to Pumper's businesses.

Dimora's co-defendant Michael Gabor, 52, of Parma is accused of bribery and conspiracy.

Both men have pleaded not guilty and maintain their innocence.


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