News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Akron General

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Jimmy Dimora's appeal: Defining the difference between bribery and lobbying
Ex-Cuyahoga Commissioenr also says his trial judge blocked key evidence
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Former Commissioner Jimmy Dimora says his corruption trial was unfair and is appealing.
Courtesy of Cuyahoga County
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A U.S. appeals court is deciding whether or not to overturn the corruption conviction of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Dimora’s attorney told the three-judge panel in Cincinnati today that the trial that resulted in a 28-year-prison sentence was unfair.

LISTEN: Laying out Dimora's appeal

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:48)


In 2012, a jury found Jimmy Dimora guilty of racketeering and 30 other corruption charges. Federal prosecutors said he accepted favors like meals, trips and home improvements in exchange for county contracts and help with court cases.

But his appeals attorney Christian Grostic says Dimora should be acquitted of some charges and given a new trial. Grostic contends the judge did not allow Dimora to present state ethics disclosure forms that would have proven he didn’t try to hide the gifts -- and therefore did not solicit or accept gifts knowing they were in exchange for official acts. But prosecutors say Dimora’s ethics forms are not accurate.

How much latitude do appeals courts have?
“When you look at an appeal, the first question is: Was the trial court given the chance to correct error. And the way we do that is either by motion or an objection, and I presume that was done here," says J. Dean Carro, a retired University of Akron law professor.

"The second level is somewhat more important, and that is the degree to which the court of appeals must defer to the trial court, meaning if the trial court, for example, made findings of fact, then the court of appeals is largely bound by that unless it finds the finding of fact to be clearly erroneous which is a very high standard.”              

Appeal says jury instruction was flawed
Dimora’s appeal also says that during jury instructions, the judge did not explain the difference between bribery and lobbying. Carro says it could be easier for his appeal attorney to prove this impacted the outcome.

“As for legal questions, for example jury instructions, the court of appeals is in an equal position with the trial court, meaning de novo review, review anew.  So there’s no deference paid to the trial court on legal questions because the appeals court can make those determinations just as easily.”  

Changing counsel
In his trial, Dimora’s lead attorney was Bill Whitaker. Carro says changing to attorney Grostic for the appeal was a good move.

“The reason for that is that in the heat of trial you’re concerned as trail council with so many different things, the jury’s perception, the court’s rulings, the witnesses. So it’s good to have a neutral, unbiased person review the record. What it also does is if there were any mistakes made by council, new council can raise those issues.”

A decision on the appeal could take a month or more. The 58-year old Dimora is in a federal prison in Oklahoma, and did not attend the hearing.

Lawyers for Dimora’s driver, Michael Gabor, also went before the appeals court, saying he did not receive a fair trial.

They contend his trial should have been separate from Dimora’s.  Gabor received a ten-year sentence. Altogether, the Cuyahoga County corruption probe resulted in more than 60 convictions, and led to voters scrapping the three commissioner form of government.                                                                                               

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Cleveland Indians to continue with 'dynamic pricing'
pricing is too high for a family as well as people like me who are on a fixed income. Bleacher seats are cheaper but concessions are rediculous.

Kasich talks about faith, drugs and education -- but never FitzGerald
The idea that you can learn more by talking to a 90 year old person than from a history book is just another example of how the GOP hates education and knowledg...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University