Government prosecutors fighting appeal by former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora

Prosecutors file 99-page brief opposing appeal

CLEVELAND - Government prosecutors have filed a massive legal brief fighting an appeal by former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora that seeks to overturn his corruption conviction.

Dimora was convicted of corruption charges on March 9, 2012 after a jury returned guilty verdicts against Dimora in 29 of 30 criminal counts.

Dimora is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence. His lawyers officially filed an appeal April 3, 2012 seeking to overturn his conviction claiming key evidence was not permitted to be introduced at Dimora's criminal trial.

Dimora claims he was not allowed to show a jury numerous ethics reports he routinely filed with the Ohio Ethics Commission that allegedly showed meals and gifts he was provided while serving as county commissioner.

In the ethics reports, Dimora argues some may have cast a favorable light on his insistence that he did not act secretly or was unfairly influenced to steer county contracts to friends and business associates.

Dimora claimed the bribes he was convicted of taking were simply "gifts."

In a 99-page legal brief filed Monday opposing Dimora's appeal, government prosecutors called the ethics commission filings "hearsay" and argued the district court was correct in withholding them at trial.

Dimora declined to testify at his trial. Government prosecutors argue "the reports themselves have no meaning without Dimora's statements."

"By attempting to introduce the contents of his statements to contradict evidence of concealment, Dimora sought to establish the truth of the matter asserted without subjecting himself or anyone else to cross-examination about the reports' contents."

In addition, prosecutors claim Dimora failed to disclose "gifts" connected with four other bribes.

Both government prosecutors and Dimora's defense attorney have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District to set the case for oral arguments.

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