Shorter Sentence for Russo?

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CLEVELAND, Ohio—Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to consider reducing the prison sentence of former Cuyahoga County auditor Frank Russo.

Russo, one of the prime targets of the FBI's massive county corruption probe, was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in jail, exactly one year ago today.

So far, Russo has not served a day.

Shortly after his sentencing, Russo began cooperating with federal investigators.

In their filing, Thursday, prosecutors asked that the "court consider reducing the sentence of (Russo) for providing substantial assistance to the United States," for helping with "prosecuting persons who are targets and subjects of the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation."

Four years ago, in 2007, the FOX 8 I-Team broke the story of a federal probe of county government.

Nine months later, that probe exploded into view as federal agents executed a series of coordinated raids on a Monday in late July of 2008.

That day, both Russo's home and office were searched.

In essence, prosecutors charge that public officials often used the awarding of a public contracts as a way to receive bribes from contractors.

They also have charged that cases before some judges could be influenced by politicians.

Russo already testified against former county judges Steven Terry and Bridget McCafferty. Both were convicted.

The filing by prosecutors asks that a hearing on Russo's sentence be set once his "cooperation is substantially completed."

Russo is expected to be a key witness against the other prime target of the investigation, former county commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Dimora maintains his innocence and is set to go on trial early next year.

Neither the U.S. Attorney's office, nor Russo's attorney, Roger Synenberg, would comment on Thursday's filing

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