Judge denies latest appeal from ex-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora

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CLEVELAND-- Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora lost his latest appeal.

There was the McDonnell decision, where the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of corruption down to basically what are known as official acts. That means someone has to take official action in exchange for a gift or cash for it to be bribery or corruption.

In a 65-page opinion, Judge Sara Lilo, who oversaw Dimora's trial, ruled it is easy to distinguish Dimora's case from the McDonnell decision.

Dimora was convicted of more than 30 corruption-related charges. Prosecutors essentially argued that he ran a "pay to play" enterprise, where some contractors enriched Dimora personally in exchange for county business.

The defense countered that what prosecutors called bribes were actually gifts. They wanted to enter Dimora's state ethics reports into evidence.

The judge did not allow the reports, saying there were hearsay unless someone testified about them and Dimora did not take the stand.

In her ruling, Lioi said Dimora was convicted concerning multiple acts that were official acts, calling them fraud and bribery schemes.

In addition, she said an appeals court ruled not allowing the ethics reports amounted to harmless error.

Dimora's attorney Phil Kushner told us he disappointed with the ruling and is reviewing it. Kushner said he will talk to Dimora about a possible appeal.

Dimora is currently serving a 28-year sentence on the convictions.

Continuing coverage.

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