Dimora trial defense attorney in heated exchange with witness

9:46 PM, Feb 9, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- There were some fireworks in the courtroom in the public corruption trial of Jimmy Dimora and co-defendant Michael Gabor Thursday morning.

Gabor's defense attorney Leif Christman was questioning prosecution witness Steve Pumper and got him to admit that he's an alcoholic and that he would drink heavily while out with Dimora, former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, and the rest of the "A Team."

"This is the time that you were drinking a lot, wasn't it?" Christman asked Pumper. Pumper answered with a smile, "Yes."

Both men raised their voices during the exchange, while U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon objected.

"You have now been diagnosed as an alcoholic, right? So you are not drinking now?" Christman shouted, over Bacon's objection.

Pumper replied "Yes, but well, I never really stopped drinking. I'm still drinking now."

Pumper said that, back when he was out wining and dining with the "A Team," that he would "...have five to six drinks at a time, four days a week."

Christman never directly asked whether or not Pumper thought his heavy drinking could have affected his memory. Bacon's objection was not addressed as Christman said he had no more questions to ask Pumper.

Pumper left the stand about 9:35 a.m. Thursday after completing three days of testimony against Jimmy Dimora and Gabor.

Since being sworn in on Tuesday, the former executive of D-A-S Construction delivered damaging testimony against his former friends Dimora, 56, of Independence, who faces a 36-count federal indictment for bribery, conspiracy and racketeering, and Gabor.

Gabor, 52, of Parma, faces multiple counts of bribery and conspiracy. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Pumper was being questioned about the work his company did for free or at a large discount at Dimora's house in Independence.

Some of the details he gave in testimony over the three days did not exactly match his statements to the FBI in 2009.

WKYC-TV

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