Corruption Trial Evidence Shows Dimora’s Extravagant Lifestyle

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CLEVELAND -- More than 3,000 documents, photos and videos from the federal corruption trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora have been released, giving the public at large its first glimpse into some of the evidence used to convict him.

Dimora was convicted on 37 different counts in March including bribery, conspiracy, obstruction and filing false tax returns.

Federal Judge Sara Lioi permitted the release of some but not all of the evidence. The release included some photos of Dimora and co-defendant Michael Gabor on a trip to Las Vegas, but did not include a photo shown to the jury of the two men in the Mirage Hotel Bare Pool, surveillance videos from inside the casino at the Mirage and any of the hundreds of hours of wiretapped telephone conversations recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Among the more than 3,000 exhibits that have been released are FBI photos from the inside of Dimora's Independence home that show granite countertops, plumbing fixtures, concrete work, landscaping and an elaborate covered backyard patio. It was all work done for the former county commissioner as bribes.

The exhibits also include surveillance photos of Dimora and others at the Bare Pool, eating an expensive meal in Vegas' Prime Steakhouse and photographs of the inside of a suite at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, where contractor Ferris Kleem paid for Dimora and others to stay and to gamble.

The release also includes photos and documents about other things of value that were given to Dimora in exchange for political favors. Those include an $1,100 refrigerator, a Rolex watch, tickets to sporting events and records of multiple limousine trips given to Dimora and his family that were paid by former Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office employee Kevin Payne and former consultant J. Kevin Kelley.

They also include photos of a fake palm tree at the pool of former county Auditor Frank Russo and an outdoor bar under Dimora's patio that Charles Randazzo, of Financial Network of America, testified he gave the men as bribes.

The exhibits released on Tuesday also include FBI surveillance photos and documents related to Dimora's use of a unit at the Stonebridge Condominium complex in downtown Cleveland for gambling and sex.

The exhibits have been redacted to prevent the public from seeing the driver's license photo of Suzzane Michaels, a prostitute who Ferris Kleem testified he paid $1,000 in Las Vegas to entertain Dimora.

They do, however, show the evidence photo of Gina Coppers, as well as documents that prosecutors say show she paid for a motel room in Independence for the purpose of having a sexual rendezvous with Dimora in exchange for a government job with benefits. Tuesday's release, however, does not include the sexually charged wiretapped telephone conversation between Coppers and Dimora in which they arrange a meeting, nor does it include the recorded telephone conversation in which Dimora asks Gabor to help him get a room.

The evidence is a window into a four-year FBI investigation that resulted in the arrest of dozens of defendants, including Dimora and Russo.

Dimora is currently in a federal prison in Youngstown, where he is being held while awaiting sentencing on June 25.