AKRON, Ohio – Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora will spend 28 years in federal prison for his convictions on conspiracy, racketeering, bribery and more.
Dimora was once the most powerful political figure in Cuyahoga County.
U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi pronounced the sentence in U.S. District Court Tuesday, as the 57-year-old sat in an orange prison outfit.
Dimora cried right before the sentencing as one of his attorneys read several letters to the court written by his family and friends. The letters were a way to ask for leniency.
Federal prosecutors had asked for at least 22 years in prison for Dimora, while his defense attorneys claimed that Dimora’s “serious and life threatening” health issues, lack of criminal background and similar sentences imposed on other corruption defendants should merit a lesser sentence.
Dimora’s sentencing ended a nearly two-year legal battle that began when FBI agents arrived at his home in Independence in September 2010.
He was arrested and indicted on corruption charges, but spent the following months attempting to delay his trial.
A jury convicted Dimora following seven weeks of testimony and approximately 40 hours of deliberation.
Since then, Dimora has been confined to a federal prison in Youngstown while he awaited Monday’s sentencing hearing.
Though indicted and arrested in September 2010, Dimora had been a well-publicized target of the FBI’s corruption probe after Dimora’s county offices and home were raided by federal agents in July 2008.
For more than a year, federal agents continued to their investigation that led to the indictment and conviction of more than 40 defendants in the largest public corruption probe in Cuyahoga County history.
Included among those sent to prison were two former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judges and scores of local businessmen.
Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo pleaded guilty to corruption charges and agreed to testify against Dimora and others in exchange for a lesser sentence.
Russo’s sentencing date has not yet been set and he remains free on bond.