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Dimora trial: Jury to decide if he loses his house

8:33 AM, Mar 12, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- The federal jury in the trial of convicted former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora has more work to do this coming week.

They have not been released from service and for now are scheduled to return first thing Tuesday morning to deliberate in the scheduled forfeiture hearing.

Before they return, federal prosecutors, attorneys for Dimora and the judge are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Monday to discuss what instructions the jury should be given.

Once the jury has the instructions, they will deliberate until they reach a unanimous verdict as to what, if anything, Jimmy Dimora must forfeit.

Late Friday, federal prosecutors, just hours after Dimora's conviction on 33 of 34 counts, including racketeering, filed their proposed instructions to the jury, asking that U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi instruct the jury that Dimora's home in Independence, assessed by the county at $439,000, be forfeited to pay his unpaid income taxes, among other things.

Prosecutors could also decide to go after his pension that he earned while commissioner from 1998 to 2010, when the acts he was convicted of occured.

There is no forfeiture hearing for Dimora's co-defendant Michael Gabor, convicted on 7 or 8 counts, because he has nothing to forfeit.

Gabor, 52, of Parma, has a court-appointed attorney, Leif Christman, who has been paid $125 an hour by the court.

In his filing of a financial affidavit on Oct. 14, 2010 to request a court-appointed attorney, Gabor listed a $500-a-month annuity benefit as his sole income, since being fired Sept. 17, 2010 from his job in the Cuyahoga County auditor's office, and his wife, Dina, was only bringing in $2,000 a month.

Gabor listed no assets, that he had credit card debt of $20,800 and, at the time, had six months left on paying off his GMC truck. He, his wife and his son live with his mother, Agnes Gabor, in her house.

On Saturday, Dimora's attorneys Bill and Andrea Whitaker filed their objections to those proposed instructions.

In part, the objections read "...Dimora objects to the government's proposed definition of proceeds in the government's proposed jury instructions....and defendant Dimora is unable to prove the direct costs of the contractors without access to their records, which have not been provided. He therefore requests that the court decide the amount of the contractors' direct costs, if necessary, at a later date, after an evidentiary hearing. He also requests a reasonable period of time in which to obtain discovery from the contractors limited to the issue of their direct costs...."

Dimora's attorneys also pointed out in the Saturday filing that "...the government is not seeking to forfeit defendant Dimona's salary during the time of the alleged racketeering activity, nor is it seeking to forfeit his pension benefits...."

Gabor and Dimora, 56, of Independence, were jailed immediately following their convictions Friday. It is not known where they are in jail at this time.

No date for their sentencings has been scheduled.


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