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Kelley: Financing Dimora's 'Saturday afternoon adventures'

11:45 PM, Jan 30, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Prosecution witness J. Kevin Kelley spent more than $20,000 wining and dining Jimmy Dimora, as well as providing him with prostitutes about two dozen times.

Prosecutors proceeded from topic to topic, charge to charge, as Kelley confirmed what other witnesses had only talked about in earlier testimony.

Kelley, 42, now living in Florida, pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including conspiracy, bribery, tax evasion and mail fraud and faces five years and 10 months in prison.

Kelley said his health isn't good, saying he had his three houses foreclosed upon or short-saled, sold his car, is bi-polar, has a heart defect, an enlarged liver, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Kelley said he paid for things for Diomra and then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo "...it was to endear myself more into the group...the more you do for Jimmy and Frank....it helped me politically speaking..."

Kelley said there were lots of social events for "The A-Team," a nickname that the group of Dimora, Kelley, Russo, Rob Rybak, Michael Gabor, Steve Pumper, and two others. Kelley said these men were the regulars for dinners and poker games and gambling junkets.

Kelley said there was also a "B-Team" and Kelley said two members of that "team" were Michael Forlani and Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney.

Gabor is Dimora's co-defendant in this trial, charged with bribery. Forlani is co-defendant with Dimora in an upcoming trial.

How about those expensive dinners?

Kelley said "our social events were usually limited to about three restaurants...if it was drinks and appetizers..it was Shula's 2 Steak House....(Dimora) would order a steak and cut it up and eat it as an appetizer...if dinner, it was Delmonico's...(Dimora) would order the Cowboy steak, about 23 ounces...if it was Lockkeeper's or Dante's, he'd order the Kobe beef steak..."

There were also pool parties at Dimora's Independence home, where Kelley said he would bring food and bottles of vodka.

There were poker parties as well. Kelley said that "...in the winter months, we'd play twice a week or so..."

He added that "...I'd bring food, food like from Stancato's, their chicken parmesan  sandwichs...I'd bring them and some tapioca pudding, the commissioner liked tapioca pudding...and the commissioner would always take the leftovers home after each poker game.......(each party meal) was over $100 for an average..."

For Dimora's daughter Lisa's graduation party, Kelley said "..it was more like a wedding than a graduation party....it was catered...at a party center in Valley View that's been knocked down now...."

But Kelley said that "when the bill came, it was just over $9,000 and the commissioner was upset it was so much...I talked to Perry Stancato and he knocked $3,000 off the bill....the commissioner was still upset that it was $6,000...he asked if it could be less....I couldn't go back to Stancato's and ask for more off the bill..."

"...so the commissioner paid $3,000 and I paid the other $3,000..."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon asked Kelley how he was able to come up with the $3,000?

Kelley said he "...used a fund in the Parma City schools...a fund paid for by Johnson Controls for promotional purposes, dinners and such things for the school district....I just had Stancato send them a bill for the $3,000."

Kelley was asked that, between 2003 and July 28, 2008, how many times did you pay for prostitutes for Commissioner Dimora?

"About 24 times," Kelley replied.  

WKYC-TV

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