Day 4: Former Cuyahoga judge Bridget McCafferty decides not to testify, defense rests case

Federal corruption trial heads to jury

AKRON, Ohio - Former Cuyahoga County judge Bridge McCafferty decided against taking the witness stand in her own defense as her federal corruption case heads to a jury.

McCafferty's defense team rested its case Thursday after calling just four witnesses. Two of them worked for former Cuyahoga Auditor Frank Russo.

Russo's former chief of staff said he never campaigned for McCafferty and Russo's former scheduler said she never gave McCafferty Russo's campaign schedule.

Defense attorneys are hoping that testimony proves Russo was lying when he told the jury earlier in the week that he frequently supported McCafferty's campaign for judge in a number of different ways.

And they are hoping it convinces jurors that McCafferty was not beholding to Russo and didn't need to sway cases in her court at his request.

A third witness -- who is a Cleveland attorney specializing in judicial ethics -- said he didn't believe McCafferty was guilty of any misconduct because of phone conversations she had with Russo and a friend of former commissioner Jimmy Dimora about cases in her court.

Prosecutors have charged McCafferty with lying to the FBI about those conversations concerning pending court cases and alleged McCafferty was trying to fix them at Dimora and Russo's request.

McCafferty did not take the witness stand in her own defense, closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning and the jury will begin deliberating later Friday.

Keep checking newsnet5.com for the latest on this case.

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