September 19, 2014

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Dimora sentenced to 28 years

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio county commissioner convicted in a wide-ranging federal public corruption case was sentenced Tuesday to 28 years in prison.

Ex-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora denied any wrongdoing in a statement before he was sentenced. Tearful, Dimora said everything he did was for the good of Cuyahoga County taxpayers.

The 57-year-old Dimora, also a former Democratic Party chairman in Cleveland, was convicted of racketeering, bribery and other counts. His trial capped an investigation that led to more than 50 convictions involving county officials, employees and contractors who traded bribes for government jobs and contracts.

The investigation helped fuel a referendum that replaced the three-commissioner county government in Cleveland with a county executive and elected council.

Akron federal Judge Sara Lioi sentenced Dimora after a hearing that began Monday.

Prosecutors had asked for more than 22 years behind bars.

Attorneys for Dimora asked for leniency because of his poor health and similar corruption cases that brought sentences of just a few years. Friends, neighbors and relatives of Dimora also testified on his behalf.