Former Cuyahoa County Commissioner Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison for Racketeering, Other Crimes
CLEVELAND—Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in prison today after a jury convicted him earlier this year of racketeering, bribery, conspiracy, Hobbs Act conspiracy, tax charges, and other crimes, federal law enforcement officials announced today.
Dimora, 57, of Independence, Ohio, was convicted on 32 counts.
More than 50 people, including two judges, the county auditor, and now a former county commissioner, have been convicted in the federal investigation into corruption in Cuyahoga County. Cuyahoga County is the largest county in Ohio and includes Cleveland.
“This trial exposed a broken system in which Dimora used his official position for personal gain—in effect turning public service into self-service,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann C. Rowland, who supervises the Major Fraud and Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. “We hope that today’s sentence sends a clear message to those who might be tempted to take bribes or pay bribes in the future.”
Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office, said, “Although we now know Mr. Dimora will be spending a considerable time behind bars, this is no time to sit back or in any way lessen our efforts to root out corruption throughout Northeast Ohio, wherever it may be. If anything, seeing what pervasive corruption can do to a community, has caused us to redouble our efforts to identify, pursue, and hold accountable those that choose to serve themselves rather than their constituents.”
“When a public official elects to betray the public’s trust for personal gain, the very core of how and why our system of government operates is immediately and negatively impacted,” said Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
Dimora took more than $166,000 worth of bribes in the form of cash, home improvements, lavish meals at high-end restaurants, services from prostitutes, gambling trips to Las Vegas and Canada, and other items, according to testimony.
The bribes were paid in exchange for Dimora’s efforts to steer contracts to allies, get jobs, and raises for associates, intercede with judges on pending cases, lobby for grants and favorable loans for people who paid him, and other official actions, according to testimony.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Antoinette T. Bacon, Ann C. Rowland, and Nancy L. Kelley following an investigation by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case agents were FBI Special Agents R. Michael Massie and Christine C. Oliver and IRS Special Agent Kelly Fatula.
The Cuyahoga County corruption investigation is ongoing.