Jimmy Dimora appealing his 28-year sentence

10:17 AM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora filed an appeal of his 28-year sentence with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Monday morning.

According to court documents filed Monday morning, Dimora, 57, of Independence, is appealing U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi's 28-year sentence through his new attorney, Christian Grostic.

Grostic is handling the appeal after Dimora's trial attorneys, the father-daughter team of Bill and Andrea Whitaker, said they would not be representing him in his appeal.

Reached mid-afternoon Monday, Grostic said, "I was retained by Mr. Dimora to represent him on appeal. I plan to go through the record from his trial, find out whether errors were made and, if so, present them to the court of appeals for its review."

Dimora was found guilty on 37 counts on March 9, including conspiracy, bribery, extortion and racketeering.

Federal prosecutors had asked for a sentence "in excess of 22 years." The sentence is the most harsh handed down so far in the Cuyahoga County corruption probe.

More than 50 people have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty in the probe. Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo pleaded guilty and received 21 years and 10 months, the second highest sentence so far.

But Russo struck a plea agreement with prosecutors and hopes to reduce that by testifying against other defendants. He testified against Dimora and is expected to testify against defendants Samir Mohammad, Sam Qasem and Michael Forlani in their trials this fall.

Bill Whitaker told WKYC after the sentencing "there is no more money," referring to the money Dimora had given the father-daughter team to represent him at trial.

Dimora's family has emailed and sent letters to friends asking for monetary donations to fund his appeal. It is not known if any money has been collected or if Grostic is being paid by the fund. 


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