CLEVELAND - A Cuyahoga County contractor was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to his role in the corruption scandal, which included funding Jimmy Dimora’s infamous trip to Las Vegas.
Ferris Kleem pleaded to one count of bribery. He was fined $250,00 and ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution to the county, the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 2008, Kleem gave former Cuyahoga County commissioner Dimora and ex-auditor Frank Russo $6,000 each for gambling and airfare in Las Vegas, court documents. Kleem continued to give Dimora money throughout the trip and even paid for a prostitute, all while discussing bids for the new Cuyahoga County Juvenile Justice Center.
“I wanted to gain influence at Cuyahoga County and help my businesses and get protection for my businesses,” Kleem testified during Dimora’s trial. “After I developed a relationship with Mr. Dimora, things ran a lot better.”
He also said he gave Dimora a TV, a refrigerator, money towards a Rolex watch and countless dinners.
Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in prison in July.
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