Trial for former Frank Russo aide accused of paying $20,000 for gambling junket gets delay

Samir Mohammad allegedly paid for top county job

CLEVELAND - The federal corruption trial of a once-top aide to former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo will be delayed until Oct. 15.

Samir Mohammad is accused of bribing former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora by paying $20,000 for a 2003 gambling trip to a casino in Ontario, Canada in return for a top, county-level job.

Mohammad's defense attorney filed a motion asking to delay the trial that was scheduled to begin Sept. 21 because of a scheduling conflict involving another criminal case.

U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi issued an order Friday resetting the trial date for Oct. 15 at 8 a.m. in Akron.

Mohammad is accused by federal prosecutors of providing twenty $100 bills to finance the gambling trip that included Russo and Dimora. Prosecutors allege Mohammad was hoping to win the county's highest level job-- county administrator.

He did not get the job, but later was named Russo's chief-of-staff at a salary of $120,000 a year.

Testimony during Dimora's corruption trial earlier this year alleged that Dimora rode in a limousine to Windsor along with Russo and two women they picked up on the way. Dimora allegedly later left with one of the woman after arriving at the casino.

Lioi wrote that Oct. 1 will be the final day any written plea agreements will be accepted in the case and a list of witnesses must be provided by Oct. 12.

Russo remain free on bond after pleading guilty to corruption charges and is awaiting sentencing.

Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in prison on similar charges.

Mohammad faces racketeering and bribery charges and has pleaded not guilty.

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