AKRON, Ohio - An FBI agent described a $2,000 cash bribe given to former Cleveland Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott by Jimmy Dimora pal Michael Forlani at Forlani's sentencing hearing in Akron Federal Court.
Pierce Scott has already pled guilty to accepting the cash she admitted using to pay her daughter's school tuition.
Michael Forlani pleaded guilty to 13 bribery related charges last August and is now in the sentencing phase of his case before U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi where he could face up to 8 years in prison.
Forlani and former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora have been described in court as close personal friends by Forlani's defense attorneys who are attempting to show that some of the alleged bribes were simply personal favors to a friend.
Forlani operated Doan Pyramid Electric that sought lucrative contracts with Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland.
In the case involving Pierce Scott, prosecutors say Forlani sought the help of the councilwoman to steer a project in her ward to his company.
A key aspect of the sentencing hearing revolves assessing the total value of the bribes Forlani pled guilty to in his plea agreement.
Prosecutors believe the value could be as high as $633,000 while defense attorneys argue the figure could be as little as $77,000.
The total value of the bribes is significant because it will help determine the length of Forlani's prison sentence under federal sentencing guidelines.
The hearing is scheduled to resume Friday at 8:30 a.m. in federal court in Akron when former councilwoman Pierce Scott is expected to take the stand.