AKRON, Ohio – Former DAS Construction Company President Steven Pumper was a key government witness in federal court here on Wednesday, the second day of a sentencing hearing for Michael Forlani.
Forlani was indicted as a part of the FBI’s investigation of corruption in Cuyahoga County Government.
He has already pleaded guilty to 13 counts of the indictment and is trying to minimize his sentence.
Pumper himself awaits sentencing on separate corruption charges of his own, but has agreed to cooperate with government prosecutors.
Forlani was expected to go on trial along with former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora but after his guilty pleas and Dimora’s conviction on more than 30 charges in a separate corruption trial last year, the government dropped the additional charges against Dimora.
In his testimony on Wednesday Pumper said he did hundreds of jobs along with Forlani’s company.
DAS Construction would frame buildings then Forlani’s electrical crews would wire them.
Pumper admits having done thousands of dollars of work at Dimora’s private residence and says crews from Forlani’s company, Doan Pyramid, would work on the projects along with them.
Pumper also testified about tens of thousands of dollars of work that both his and Forlani’s company did at the private homes of executives for a medical imaging company.
He said the cost of that work was added to invoices sent to the medical company.
A former employee of that medical company also testified that he received sports tickets and cash from Forlani’s company.
The government also accuses Forlani of hiring the son of one of those executives to work for him as a favor.
In return, the government contends that Forlani hoped to win bids.
Defense attorneys repeatedly questioned whether Forlani himself knew of the work that his crews were doing at those locations and whether he ever saw the doctored invoices.
Under direct examination by government prosecutors Pumper described Forlani as a “micromanager.”
“He stayed on top of things. He was a tough guy, ruled the nest,” said Pumper, adding “if something went haywire on a project he would be all over that.”
The proceedings are not a trial but attorneys are introducing a long list of documents and playing wiretapped phone conversations involving Forlani.
Forlani could get eight years in prison when he is sentenced.