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Two Solon men sentenced in county corruption probe

1:57 PM, May 16, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Two defendants from Solon who testified against former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora in his corruption trial have themselves been sentenced for their roles in bribing him in the Cuyahoga County corruption case.

Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Charles Randazzo, 63, of Solon, to five months in prison, five months of house arrest and a $20,000 fine.

Randazzo is the majority owner of the Twinsburg-based Financial Network of America. He had faced a possible prison sentence of 8-14 months.

In April 2010, he admitted bribing Dimora and former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo with fake palm trees, a Tiki hut and a Tiki bar, and food. He pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy.

On Feb. 13 this year, Randazzo took the stand and testified against Dimora. He said he provided gifts and money in exchange for their help getting county business for FNA.

Between 2004 and 2008, he gave food, gifts and wine to Dimora and his friends, prosecutors said.

Randazzo testified that, in 2008, he gave both Russo and Dimora the following at Christmas: 1 beef tenderloin, 10 pork chops, two bags of shrimp, 4 lamb racks, 10 pounds of crab legs, a magnum of Moet champagne, a bottle of Ruffino Chianti and three other bottles of wine

Photos: Evidence photos from Dimora's house

Late Tuesday, Bedford Heights-based Zavarella Brothers Construction executive Nicholas Zavarella, 62, also of Solon, was sentenced by Lioi to one year of home detention for bribing Dimora with $25,000 in free home improvements.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion on March 10, 2010. Lioi also gave Zavarella three years probation and 450 hours of community service and fined him $20,000.

Zavarella admitted to doing the work for Dimora in exchange for favors, including the commissioner's help finding a county job and two teaching positions for Zavarella's daughter Lauren starting in 2001.

Zavarella built a retaining wall in the back yard of Dimora's Forestwood Drive home in 2002. Zavarella also built masonry columns and a brick outer shell for Dimora's three-tiered pizza oven on his outdoor patio.

Zavarella had asked for probation and home detention, saying he cooperated with federal prosecutors.

His attorney Wiiliam Doyle cited numerous friends and family in support of Zavarella in a sentencing memorandum.

Photos: People & places in Dimora trial

 

Photos: Dimora Vegas Trip

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