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County Democratic Party Chairman Dimora leads meeting Wednesday night

9:56 AM, Aug 14, 2008   |    comments
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First, Dimora asked for a moment of silence in memory of the late Cleveland City Councilwoman Fannie Lewis, 82, who passed away early Monday morning.

"We lost one of our warriors, a pioneer and a trailblazer," Dimora said.

The meeting was called to have the county party officially place the name of newly appointed Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance T. Mason on the Nov. 4 ballot for election.

Dimora then talked about the fact that he was in his 15th year as party chairman and "I don't take any pay for this job," he said.

Then, addressing the Beachwood High School auditorium filled with several hundred Democratic Party central and executive committee members, he admonished the crowd to continue on with the party's business -- getting Democrats across the county elected and delivering Ohio "for the next President of the United States, Barack Obama."

"That's why it is so important not to get sidetracked," Dimora said.

He went on to say that the county party needed to "stay focused on the real mission of the party," on Nov. 4, to turn out the vote, "the biggest vote that we've ever had."

At that, no one in the room needed any further explanation, as they knew what Dimora was referring to with that comment.

Just after 9 a.m. July 28, more than 200 agents form both the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service executed search warrants at the Cuyahoga County administration building, the offices of Dimora and Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, the office of the county engineer, the county data center and the homes of Dimora, Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and the county information technology specialist J. Kevin Kelley, the result of what both federal agncies called a "long-term public corruption investigation."

On July 31, at the county commissioners' regularly scheduled meeting, Dimora broke a three-day silence, saying that he knew in his heart that he has done nothing wrong and "I'm still shocked and stunned at what has occurred over the past several days."

Upon advice of legal counsel, Dimora has made no statements regarding the raid.

Russo, who was also on the stage Wednesday night during the party meeting, has also said that he has done nothing wrong.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-11) placed Mason's name in nomination at the meeting and it was seconded by both Parma Mayor Dean DePiero and Warrensville Heights Mayor Marcia Fudge.

A quorum was present, the vote was unanimous and Mason is now officially on the Democratic ballot.

The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County is to meet Thursday (Aug. 14) in Independence to select its candidate to run against Mason.

On Monday, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland appointed Mason to the bench to fill the vacancy left when the county Democratic party named Judge Lillian Greene to replace former Cuyahoga County Recorder Pat O'Malley.

O'Malley resigned May 15, then pleaded guilty in federal court later that same day to one felony count of obscenity.

U.S. District Judge David Dowd is scheduled to sentence O'Malley on Aug. 22. O'Malley is facing a possible prison term.

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