County corruption: Kleem sentencing continued without explanation

12:48 PM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- U.S. District Judge John R. Adams continued the scheduled sentencing of Cuyahoga County corruption defendant Ferris Kleem indefinitely with no explanation.

Adam's July 25 order said the 10 a.m. Aug. 1 sentencing was continued "...until further order of the court."

Adams and attorneys for both sides held a telephone conference instead, and the probation service representative was also included.

Kleem, 53, of Berea, was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and faces up to five years in prison. He pleaded guilty and reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Attorneys for both sides had no comment regarding the delay.

Kleem was the owner of the now-closed Blaze Construction and fostered a friendship with then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora from 2005 until 2008.

Kleem testified on the stand for most of two days back in January during Dimora's trial.

When asked by Dimora's defense attorney Andrea Whitaker what he hoped his reduced sentence would be, Kleem replied, "I'd like it to be nothing."

Kleem admitted giving then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and Dimora, among other things, cash and paying for a $1,000-a-night prostitute for Dimora while he, Dimora, Russo, J. Kevin Kelley and Michael Gabor were on the now-famous April 2008 trip to Las Vegas.

Mirage Hotel & Casino surveillance footage show Kleem and Dimora after Kleem called prostitute Suzzanne Michaels and arranged for her to meet with Dimora.

Footage shows Kleem escorting Michaels up to Dimora's room at the Mirage.

In return, Kleem got the county inspector he wanted on the $2.8 million contract for Blaze Construction to resurface Snow Road.

Kleem also bought Dimora a wide-screen TV, a refrigerator and then gave him $2,000 towards a Rolex watch.


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