Day 3: Corruption trial for former Cuyahoga County judge Bridget McCafferty

AKRON, Ohio - Two FBI agents are taking the stand Wednesday for the third day of the corruption trial for former Cuyahoga County judge Bridget McCafferty.

McCafferty is charged with lying to FBI agents during an interview at her home on Sept. 23, 2008. Prosecutors said she was influenced by former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora or former County Auditor Frank Russo regarding cases in her courtroom.

While on the stand Wednesday in the trial, the FBI agent who interviewed McCafferty at her home prior to her being charged testified that she honestly admitted to having three phone conversations about cases in her courtroom.

Two of the phone calls involved a friend of Jimmy Dimora, who had a case in her court. The third call involved former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, who had an employee with a case in McCafferty’s courtroom.

McCafferty’s attorneys stressed to the jury that instead of lying to the FBI agents, she in fact, told the truth.

The agent, who continually reached down for a water bottle during his time on the stand, also testified that McCafferty continued to deny during the interview that she was influenced by Dimora or Russo.

The FBI agent also said it was the FBI’s intent that night during the interview at her home to flip her – meaning she would cooperate in the corruption investigation. The agent admitted they never told McCafferty they had a search warrant for her judicial chambers until later in the evening.

The agent told her she’d face federal corruption charges if she didn’t cooperate.

By the end of the FBI’s interview that evening, she admitted to agents that night that she was “feeling intimidated.”

NewsChannel5’s Chief Investigator Ron Regan is in the courtroom covering the trial. Keep checking newsnet5.com for more information.

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