September 16th, 2010
06:19 PM ET

Cleveland commissioner, judges indicted for corruption

Cuyahoga County commissioner Jimmy Dimora has been indicted on corruption charges.

Numerous Cleveland public officials, including two judges, have been indicted on corruption charges. Among them is an influential Cuyahoga County commissioner who is accused of a pay-to-play scam that allegedly involved call girls, a trip to Las Vegas, discounts on a Rolex watch and improvements to his home, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Find more coverage of the corruption probe on WJW

Commissioner Jimmy Dimora pleaded not guilty to the charges in court and is out on bond. The FBI used wire tapping to build its case, detailed in Dimora's 26-count indictment

For years, Dimora had headed up the local Democratic party. He has a storied history in Cleveland politics, the paper reports.

"These indictments are huge news here. It's a sad day for people in Cuyahoga County which is one of the poorest places in the country," said Catherine Turcer of the government watchdog group Ohio Citizen Action. She directs the group's Money in Politics project.  

Also Thursday, Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo pleaded guilty to 21 counts stemming from the same corruption investigation that targeted Dimora, the paper reported.

Russo faces 21 years and 10 months in prison when he is sentenced in December on 21 corruption-related counts, including bribery, obstruction of justice and tax fraud.

Russo, who had been auditor from 1997 until he resigned last week after he was indicted, admitted to several corrupt schemes, including one that netted him $1.2 million in kickbacks over 10 years for steering contracts to a commercial appraisal company.

The plea deal also stipulates that Russo will not have to testify against other targets in the ongoing county corruption probe.

This year, Forbes magazine ranked Cleveland number 1 on its annual "America's Most Miserable Cities" list due to the area's high unemployment, high taxes and other factors.

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Filed under: Ohio
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. honest abe

    Agreed..embarassing !

    September 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike B

    Lock em up, and throw away the key!!!

    September 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kennethgrable

    I would like to know how to get the update and ricklist .com

    September 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Aaron

    wow, what a surprise another crooked politician. Theyve already done the deal and it wont cost him a thing. us voters sure have a lot of sense we just keep bending over and taking the goverments (insert word here) right in the (insert another different word here). well you all keep being voters instead of people just the fact that you read the news about politicians and are suprised when they do something like this is just another display of how you need there control yould be lost without it. government is only necssary for those afraid to stand up for there selves. what did we ever do before government? wow what a wonderful group of people they are. arent they the ones that own the police and the courts and the jails and everything else. Down with the lie that is America!

    September 17, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    I was born and raised in Cleveland, Cleveland is the arm pit of America, from it's goverment to it's sport teams and schools it's simply a national joke!!!!

    September 17, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. v

    How is this not on CNN's home page? Why is this story not national headline news? The story in Bell, California is everywhere and only involved 8 people. This web implicates dozens of elected officials, business people and government workers.

    September 22, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. v

    Follow up: http://www.cleveland.com/countyincrisis/index.ssf/2010/09/the_cuyahoga_county_corruption.html

    Here's a link that explains who's who.

    September 22, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
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