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Dimora trial: Pumper testifies about "...Dimora's cut"

11:31 AM, Feb 8, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Federal prosecution witness Steve Pumper testified Wednesday morning about how then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora would "...get a kickback..." on his co-defendant Michael Gabor's sales at the Pumper family's Green-Source Products company.

Pumper, 47, took the stand again just after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon played more than two dozen wiretapped phone calls.

The calls centered on Michael Gabor's imminent hiring at Green-Source while he was still a Cuyahoga County employee.

Gabor, 52, of Parma, is charged with bribery and conspiracy. Dimora, 56, of Independence, is charged with 36 counts of bribery, conspiracy and racketeering. Both have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In one of the March, 2008 calls, Dimora tells Pumper he is making phone calls "...to help my friends make more money than they already have."

Pumper talked with Gabor in a Jan. 22, 2008, call where Gabor says he talked to his brother-in-law about the City of Broadview Heights proposing to build a $6 million recreation center.

Pumper testified that Gabor's brother-in-law that he was referring to is Broadview Heights Mayor Sam Alai.

Pumper tells Gabor that, if Green-Source gets the job, Gabor's commission would be about 25 percent of the project, or about $220,000 to $250,000.

Gabor is heard to say, when he refers to Alai after learning how much money his own commission was, that "I'll treat him like Jim..."

Bacon asked Pumper what "I'll treat him like Jim" meant and Pumper replied, "He would pry cut the same deal with Mr. Alai...the same deal as Jimmy was getting with (Gabor)"

Pumper testified that he meant Alai would likely get part of the money from Gabor's commission on the proposed rec center if Green-Source was hired to do work on it.

In a Feb. 8, 2008 wiretapped conversation, Pumper is heard talking about a meeting that day at the Calla Club with J. Kevin Kelley, Jerry Skuhrovec, Gabor, Dimora and Pumper.

Bacon showed an exhibit that Pumper confirmed was a credit card statement for D-A-S that showed chicken and wings meals paid for by D-A-S in the amount of $194.64.

Bacon asked why Dimora was helping Pumper get jobs and county contracts. Pumper testified that, "...we were friends. He would do what he had to do to help us out..."

Bacon asked if there was a benefit in Pumper giving Dimora Cleveland Cavaliers tickets, Cleveland Indians tickets, buying meals and drinks, and paying money through Gabor.

"Sure it did," Pumper said, saying it helped get Dimora's influence with county officials and projects.

In a March 12, 2008 call to Bedford Municipal Court Clerk Tom Day from a Delmonico's luncheon, Dimora explained where he was to Day by saying "No, we just got done with a luncheon to help Pumper with his new energy company."

Pumper testified that the "new energy company" was Green-Source.

For that March 12, 2008 meeting at Delmonico's, Pumper's D-A-S credit card shows a Delmonico's charge for $133.84, meaning he paid for the luncheon meeting.

In a March 16, 2008, conversation with Gabor, the two talked about "What Mr. Dimora's cut would be..." if Green-Source got the job for insulation at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center project.

Skuhrovec, a former Cuyahoga County employee, pleaded guilty Feb. 2, 2011 to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and lying to the FBI.

Skuhrovec, 63, faces a likely sentence of 24-30 months in prison and is cooperating with federal prosecutors. Skuhrovec worked as a part-time senior office assistant in then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo's office.

He also had a second job as an appraiser in the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's office with help from Dimora and Russo.

According to his plea agreement, Skuhrovec provided entertainment and other favors, including fund-raising help for Russo's brother, Cuyahoga County Probate Judge Anthony Russo. Judge Russo has not been charged with any crime.

WKYC-TV

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