Former Cuyahoga County politician Jimmy Dimora was sentenced Tuesday July 31, 2012 to 28 years in prison for his conviction in a wide-ranging federal corruption case.
Dimora, a former county commissioner, denied any illegal behavior in a statement before he was sentenced. And while attorneys for Dimora asked for leniency because of his poor health and similar corruption cases that brought sentences of just a few years, he was still convicted and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison.
The tearful 57-year-old Dimora, who said everything he did was for the taxpayer’s good, was convicted of racketeering, bribery and other counts. According to the Associated Press, “His trial capped an investigation that led to more than 50 convictions involving county officials, employees and contractors who traded bribes for government jobs and contracts.”
The investigation helped fuel a referendum that replaced the three-commissioner county government in Cleveland with a county executive and council.
U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Dimora after a hearing that began Monday after Prosecutors had asked for more than 22 years behind bars.
The charges and trial testimony covered a wide scope of gifts and freebies in return for favors in Ohio’s most populous county, a Democratic stronghold.
The government said Dimora took bribes for nearly a decade. According to the indictment, gifts included:
- A Las Vegas trip that involved a woman who was paid $1,000 to give him a massage in his hotel room;
- home renovations;
- an Ohio State football jersey worth $3,600;
- high-end restaurant meals;
- limousine service;
- use of a condominium and;
- up to $2,000 toward the cost of a Rolex watch.