Cuyahoga County corruption probe key figure Frank Russo may not be headed to prison anytime soon

Key corruption figure remains free until next year

CLEVELAND - A key figure in the federal corruption probe in Cuyahoga County may not be headed to prison anytime soon.

Former auditor Frank Russo, convicted of multiple corruption counts and facing 22 years in prison, could remain free until the end of February.

Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi to grant a motion asking that Russo's prison report date be delayed until February 29, 2012. He was scheduled to report to prison June 30.

Prosecutors argued that Russo will be needed to testify against both Samir Mohammed, a former employee in the auditor's office and former commissioner Jimmy Dimora, whose trial date was rescheduled for January 4, 2012.

Prosecutors argued that delaying Russo's prison report date will save significant government resources that would require agents to travel to a federal prison in Pennsylvania and transport Russo to Cleveland, as well as "insurmountable logistical and security problems."

Although the motion has not been ruled on, it is unopposed by defense attorneys and is expected to be granted.

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