Jimmy Dimora is just one of the County Commissioners under federal investigation for accepting gifts in exchange for county contracts. Today, he called a “press conference” which was nothing more than a rambling, incoherent, diatribe blaming his legal troubles on the Republican Party, and people who ‘may not like him because of his politics, his size (overweight), and his ethnicity’ (Italian).
He accused the Republican Party and the Department of Justice of a “conspiracy to prosecute Democratic elected officials” and to “prevent us from helping to turn out and deliver the vote for….Barack Obama”.
Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora accused the U.S. Department of Justice of launching its local public corruption probe two years ago in a conspiracy with Republicans to undermine the Democratic turnout for Barack Obama.
Dimora said he and his lawyers will ask for a federal investigation into the motives behind the corruption probe, which became public last July when FBI agents raided the commissioner’s home and office and the home and office of political ally Frank Russo, the county auditor.
“This is a Republican-driven prosecution,” Dimora said during a news conference from the county office building.
Background on the investigation from WJW in Cleveland.
Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora fired back at numerous people, political figures and even Ohio’s Department of Justice during a 20 minute diatribe in the chambers of the County Administration Building.
Dimora, the target of a massive federal corruption probe, publicly called for a federal probe into the fund raising practices of Ohio’s Republican party, and more specifically, Rob Frost, Chairman of the Cuyahoga County Republican Party.
During the press conference Dimora claimed numerous individuals he deals with a on consistent basis were wearing a recording device during dealings with Dimora.
“There are a lot of people who was to see my demise.” said Dimora, “I’m not an angel but I’m not a crook.”
Last week Dimora announced he was taking a leave of absence from his job as head of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party. That decision covered only his role as party chairman and not his post as county commissioner.
Dimora, County Auditor Frank Russo, and former County engineer employee Kevin Kelley are the three prime targets of the federal probe. Kelley was charged two weeks ago as were three other minor players.
They were not indicted, but rather, were charged by information. Such a procedure sometimes means that those charged are now cooperating with prosecutors.
Eighteen months ago, the I-Team first broke the story of a federal investigation into county government.
The story exploded last July, when the FBI executed multiple search warrants in a single day. They searched Dimora home and his office, Russo’s home and his office, and the engineer’s offices, along with several other businesses and locations.
Federal prosecutors have filed their first set of major charges in connection with their sweeping corruption investigation of Cuyahoga County government. Prosecutors have charged J. Kevin Kelley with conspiracy. Kelley is one of the three prime targets of the federal probe. He worked for the county engineer’s office and, until recently, was a member of the Parma School Board.
Kelley faces conspiracy charges. Prosecutors allege Kelley accepted kickbacks in exchange for making sure certain companies received county contracts.
Three other lesser-known defendants — Kevin F. Payne, Daniel P. Gallagher and Brian Schuman — were also charged.
The charges do not mention the other prime targets of the probe, Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, by name. But they do refer to two elected county officials.
The filing has quotes suggesting prosecutors have wiretaps of conversations. At one point, Kelley is quoted as saying “Loyalty makes up for brains any day.”
He should have opted for brains.
Dimora received monetary gifts from various wealthy individuals and contractors, one of whom did approximately $50,000 worth of free labor on his home.
CLEVELAND – County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora’s fellow commissioners want him to step away from important votes until the FBI’s public corruption probe is over.
County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones said he and commissioner Tim Hagan suggested to Dimora in a phone conversation that he not participate in county decision making.
Last summer the FBI and IRS raided Dimora’s Seven Hills home in search of evidence that he benefitted personally from contracts awarded by the county and traded preferential treatment in exchange for gifts and improvements at his home.
“There’s no question that its affected the public perception of county government and one of the reasons Tim and I suggested to Jimmy that if he recuse himself until this cloud is removed, then the public can feel better about the process by which decisions are made and contracts are awarded and people are hired at the county,” Jones said.
Even members of the Ohio Democratic Party are calling for this embarrassment to step down.
He’s a certified wackjob, and I’m waiting for his next speech where he blames Karl Rove and CIA brainwave transmissions for his fall from grace…as if he had grace to begin with.