Ethics Reports at Heart of Dimora Appeal

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CINCINNATI -- The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on Wednesday in the appeal filed on behalf of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Dimora was convicted in March 2012 of more than 30 corruption-related charges and sentenced to 28 years in a federal prison.

At the heart of Dimora's appeal is the decision by the federal judge that presided over his trial, that Dimora's filings with the Ohio Ethics Commission could not be presented to the jury.

Dimora has claimed that the ethics reports showed that he was not hiding gifts that were given to him by friends, supporters and contractors.

According to his appeal, Judge Sarah Lioi initially said she would allow the reports to be presented as evidence, but after the defense told the jury they would see the reports, the judge changed her mind and excluded them.

Dimora and his appellate attorney claim the filings with the ethics commission were key evidence that might have ended with his acquittal.

Dimora is seeking a new trial and/or the dismissal of some of the charges.

Federal prosecutors are expected to argue that the judge was following the law when she excluded the ethics reports, and that the jury was correct when it concluded that what Dimora called gifts, were in fact bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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