Jury receives instructions in Dimora trial

After a four-day hiatus, the jury returned to the courtroom Tuesday in the Jimmy Dimora, former Cuyahoga County Commissioner, trial in federal court.

The father-daughter duo who are defending Dimora, William and Andrea Whitaker, called no further witnesses before the jury received instructions on their duty.

U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi outlined the accusations against Dimora – eight counts of racketeering, bribery and conspiracy included in the 37 corruption-related charges – to the jury, which consists of seven men and five women.


Four counts of bribery

Two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery

Nine counts of Hobbs Act extortion

Eight other counts of Hobbs Act extortion

One count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud

One count of mail fraud

Two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud

One count of conspiracy to obstruct justice

One count of falsification of records

One count of RICO conspiracy (racketeering)

Four counts of filing false tax returns

“Do not let the possible guilt of others influence your decision in any way,” Judge Lioi said. “My rulings were based on the rulings of evidence … not my opinion.”

Lioi reiterated the necessity of only using evidence presented in the courtroom in making the decision, and each juror received a notebook with detailed instructions and rules regarding the case.


Listen to a brief podcast regarding the trial.

Dimora pleaded not guilty to four counts of bribery, two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, nine counts of Hobbs Act extortion, eight other counts of conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of falsification of records, one count of RICO conspiracy and four counts of filing a false tax return.

In order to be convicted, the jury must be convinced Dimora acted officially in exchanging things of value. The plaintiff originally offered a plea deal, which Dimora rejected — he claims he was simply doing favors for friends, and he didn’t accept anything in return.

A four-year FBI investigation into the public corruption in Cuyahoga County implicated Dimora and former County Auditor Frank Russo, who has also pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The decision now moves to the jury, who will deliberate after closing arguments are set for Wednesday and Thursday.

Deliberations on Thursday will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the jury is expected to deliberate the case Thursday afternoon or early Friday.