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Northeast Ohio at center of one of biggest local corruption cases in U.S. history

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posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 11:42 PM
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Cuyahoga County, Ohio, at center of one of biggest local corruption cases in U.S. history (Cleveland.com)

Former head of the Cuyahoga County government, Jimmy Dimora, and his entire administration have been at the center of a widespread and ongoing FBI corruption investigation for several years now. He was raided in 2008, arrested in September of 2010, and is now (finally) entering trial.


CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It is a shocking and emblematic photograph that could be of New York City's Boss Tweed, 140 years later: Jimmy Dimora, the most powerful man in Cuyahoga County politics, led away in manacles to FBI headquarters, to federal court, and into infamy.

But the picture painted by the 177 pages in indictments made public Wednesday against eight suspects -- including Cuyahoga County commissioner Dimora and two county judges -- is even more shocking, alleging what could be one of the biggest local political-machine corruption cases in recent U.S. history.


Dimora is being compared to a modern-day Boss Tweed (he even looks like Boss Tweed);


The case is massive, involving the commissioner, sitting judges, council members, board members, lawyers, mayors, etc. What's alleged? Racketeering, bribery, kickbacks, sex for favors, cronyism, nepotism, jury tampering, payoffs, embezzlement...

Those charged so far:
The Cuyahoga County corruption case: a who's who

  • Timothy Armstrong
  • Dinesh Bafna
  • Joseph Bibbo
  • Damir Blecic
  • Anthony O. Calabrese III
  • Steven Canepa
  • Bryan Carlton
  • John J. Carroll
  • Patrick Coyne
  • Bobby Cuevas
  • Harlan Diamond
  • Jimmy Dimora (county commissioner)
  • Dennis Dooley
  • Charles E. Edwards
  • Michael Forlani
  • Michael Gabor Jr.
  • Daniel Gallagher
  • Joseph Gallucci
  • Todd Gemma
  • Thomas Greco Jr.
  • J. Kevin Kelley
  • Ferris Kleem
  • Santina "Sandy" Klimkowski
  • Christopher Krause
  • Patricia Kresty
  • Kenneth Kushmider
  • Rocky Laurie
  • Anthony Ma
  • Bridget McCafferty (county judge)
  • Gerald McFaul (county Sherrif!)
  • Michael McMichael
  • Anthony Melaragno
  • William Mitchell
  • Samir Mohammad
  • Ronald Monroe
  • William Neiheiser
  • Joseph O'Malley
  • Todd Ozanich
  • Nilesh Patel
  • Kevin Payne
  • George Phillips-Olivier
  • Sabra Pierce Scott
  • Sanford 'Sandy' Prudoff
  • Steven Pumper
  • Sam Qasem
  • Shannon Riley
  • Ron Romanini
  • Frank Russo (County auditor)
  • Vince Russo
  • Robert Rybak
  • Brian Schuman
  • Anthony C. Sinagra
  • Jerry Skuhrovec
  • David Terry
  • Steven Terry (county judge)
  • Steven Tomasone
  • Giacinto Vaccarella
  • John Valentin
  • Dan Weaver
  • Bruce Zaccagnini
  • Nicholas Zavarella


These are the ones charged/convicted. There are twice as many more names on the indictment that have not been charged.

Judges Terry and Maccafferty have already been sentenced to prison.

The investigation began in 2007, with the FBI raiding county commissioner Dimora's home in 2008. Since then the investigation keeps expanding. One of the main targets of the investigation was Frank Russo, the county auditor, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2010, but has kept himself out of jail by squealing like a pig on all his former cronies.



Summary of the counts in the Jimmy Dimora indictment

Think politics in Chicago are crooked? The Big Easy? Boroughs of NY? Pffffft. They got nuthin' on Cleveland.




posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 11:46 PM
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he probably only got caught because someone with more money and power got fed up with him
(ha ha fed gotta love puns)



posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 11:50 PM
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Apparently it wasn't much of a secret just how corrupt this guy was. The FBI has three years of wiretaps on him, talking bribes and kickbacks, Vegas trips for sex, etc., even tells a contractor (Kleem) he was hustling that the FBI was probably tapping their conversation yet still blunders on about their deal.

This guy has been arrogant throughout the whole ordeal, but I think the feds will have the last laugh.



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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Now this is a GOOD use of wiretapping. They should do more of this--all the way to the top--and lay off the small private citizen....



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
The case is massive, involving the commissioner, sitting judges, council members, board members, lawyers, mayors, etc. What's alleged? Racketeering, bribery, kickbacks, sex for favors, cronyism, nepotism, jury tampering, payoffs, embezzlement...



Meh.

Sounds like just another typical day in New Jersey.


Although I'm sure this is a really big deal for the folks in Ohio. They should try moving to Jersey where every single town in the whole Goddamned state is run by people just like the ones in that article.


edit on 1/8/12 by FortAnthem because:
______________ extra DIV



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 12:33 AM
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Justice can be a 2 way street ..I am sure there will be some leaving jail while some will be going in ...lets hope there are a bigger bunch getting out than the handfull going in ...peace



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


I'm glad they caught the bastards.

They must have been small time, anyone who is worth anything won't get caught, unless they anger their masters and not follow orders. Perhaps this is what happened here.



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 11:05 AM
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You get about the same thing in Erie County, although on a smaller scale. But relatively close to Cuyahoga.



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem

Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
The case is massive, involving the commissioner, sitting judges, council members, board members, lawyers, mayors, etc. What's alleged? Racketeering, bribery, kickbacks, sex for favors, cronyism, nepotism, jury tampering, payoffs, embezzlement...



Meh.

Sounds like just another typical day in New Jersey.


Although I'm sure this is a really big deal for the folks in Ohio. They should try moving to Jersey where every single town in the whole Goddamned state is run by people just like the ones in that article.


edit on 1/8/12 by FortAnthem because:
______________ extra DIV



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


I see a lot of Irish and Italian names on that list.

Both people have been heavily involved in organized crime since the early 1900's..

hopefully the right thing is done.


o and I'm not saying anything bad about italians or the irish as most my friends are italian and some irish.



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by LucidDreamer85
 


If you look over the complete "who's who" list, you'll see several prominent Cleveland family names - several Russos, because of Frank Russo's cronyism planting family members in well-paying jobs, Calabrese, a political dynasty in Cleveland for a couple generations now, O'Malley's, and the Kleem family. Ferris Kleem was the one bribing Dimora with a Vegas trip and hookers for a fat city construction contract, and Ferris happens to be the brother of Cyril Kleem the mayor of neighboring city of Berea, in which Ferris also happened to land several fat road construction contracts.

One of the surest signs of corrupt government at the local level is when family members of elected 'leaders' get sweetheart deals/jobs. Cleveland's county government just took it to the next level.



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Ex_CT2
Now this is a GOOD use of wiretapping. They should do more of this--all the way to the top--and lay off the small private citizen....


For good or ill wasn't this guy also a private citizen????



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 04:12 PM
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I live in Cleveland all these people should go to jail for life



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 04:58 PM
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Now that is what I call a tangled web! What a mess! On another note, the guy at the center of the investigation does look like Big Boss Tweed. What a striking resemblance. Perhaps this report and investigation is a birds-eye view of a much larger national problem? I don't know about everyone else, but corruption and deceit seems to be everywhere.

There are not enough law enforcement to tackle the problem. As long as it is out of sight and out of mind, people tend to turn a blind-eye to it. The economic woes in both the private sector and in local, state, and federal governments makes you wonder about the scope of the corruption? Perhaps the collapse in 2008 briefly pulled-up the curtain on the rampant corruption befalling the nation by our elected leaders and the masters of industry? They were very quick in addressing that problem. It makes you wonder?

In the case of Cleveland or other notoriously corrupt places? If they don't cut off the head of the snake it will continue to grow new tails. My guess is that the corruption, doubling dealing, bribery, and blatant disrespect of the public trust will continue as it has for years not only in Cleveland but other areas as well. The problem is just too large, and sooner or later the party is going to end. People have been asleep at the wheel for far too long. It will be those very people who will have to clean-up after the revelers and drunkards have had their fill. Star and Flag OP!
edit on 8-1-2012 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2012 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by Jakes51
 


The scary thing about this case is that it is probably par for the course in American politics. I don't normally make blanket assertions, but I will here: politicians are crooks. They only go into public office to aid themselves and their cronies. Their only desire is to feed at the public trough. It's all about money and power. The only thing that separates an honest politician from a crooked one is the degree of thievery involved (or maybe it's their skill in not getting caught?)
 


The resemblance to Boss Tweed is uncanny too;

Boss Tweed:



Jimmy Dimora:


edit on 8-1-2012 by Blackmarketeer because: (no reason given)



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