CLEVELAND — The well known CEO of Executive Caterers at Landerhaven can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Harlan Diamond, 78, was told he would not be sentenced to six months in a federal prison for one count of mail fraud related to the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal. Instead, Diamond was sentenced to one year of probation and no fine. Judge John Adams said he would recommend that Diamond’s probation be non-reporting so the elderly caterer would suffer no additional burden related to his case. He also said he would recommend the Ohio Department of Commerce not take any action against Executive Caterer’s liquor license.
“I’m thrilled,” Diamond told Fox 8 after leaving the federal courthouse in Akron.
Diamond appeared nervous prior to court and said he did not expect the judge to show him leniency. Instead, it was Assistant Federal Prosecutors Nancy Kelly and Antoinette Bacon who may have felt bruised following the proceedings.
Judge Adams suggested federal prosecutors were heavy handed in their dealings with Diamond and said he could see how he might have been misled by Dimora, who instructed Diamond to bill his campaign fund for two family parties for which Dimora had failed to pay.
The judge also said “some might question” why Diamond was standing before him after receiving payment from Dimora’s campaign fund when former Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul was allowed to use funds from his campaign fund to pay the court $127,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of theft in office and guilty to an ethics charge.
Diamond said he had no idea what he did was illegal. “This has been an earth shattering experience,” he told Judge Adams, “I tried to be a good citizen.”
The judge said he wasn’t excusing Diamond’s conduct but said he wasn’t sure harsh sanctions against the caterer were warranted.
“There are some that might view this as heavy handed,” he said of the government’s case against Diamond, “And over-reaching.”
Diamond left federal court, smiling, and surrounded by long time employees from Executive Caterer’s at Landerhaven.
“The judge didn’t let the furor of what’s going on in Cuyahoga County affect this case,” said defense attorney Rob Glickman.
“I feel very good, there is no vindication, I feel good [though], I’m glad this is behind me,” said Diamond.