Jimmy Dimora agrees to give up 50 percent interest in Independence home, all financial accounts

Sentencing date set

AKRON, Ohio - Jimmy Dimora will lose his interest in his Independence home and his financial accounts worth more than $10,000 in a forfeiture agreement reached with federal prosecutors.

In return, the government will not go after Lori Dimora's 50-percent interest in the home, valued at about $430,000.

If Dimora's convictions are upheld on appeal, his wife has six months to sell and leave the home. But if Dimora's convictions are reversed on appeal, the government will reimburse Dimora.

Lori agreed to maintain the property and make all payments. She was asked by the judge if she understood the terms, and Lori said, "Yes, your honor."

Dimora must liquidate his Ohio Public Employees Retirement System account from county work, worth $122,383.46.

The government will not go after Dimora's retirement money from when he served as mayor in Bedford Heights, and it will not go after accounts held solely by Lori.

The former commissioner will also give up property seized from federal search warrants while the government continues to use it as evidence in other cases, including the infamous Beanie Wells jersey.

Restitution will be credited based on forfeiture, and exact amounts were not announced in court.

Dimora waived his right to have the jury determine forfeiture in the case. Both Dimora and Lori agreed to the terms of the settlement.

"Any questions whatsoever?" U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi asked Dimora about the terms of the deal. He answered, "Nope."

The agreement between the former commissioner and federal prosecutors was announced in federal court Wednesday afternoon, after nearly a full day of private negotiations.

The jury was supposed to hear opening arguments Wednesday morning, but attorneys from both sides spent the day behind closed doors working on this deal.

Judge Lioi dismissed the jury late in the afternoon, commended them for their diligence in the case, and personally thanked them. Jurors now are free to speak to the media, if they chose to.

Dimora's family spent the day waiting at the courthouse to support Dimora's bid to keep the family's home and other assets following his conviction last week on dozens of federal charges, including racketeering. The settlement was made to help Lori, defense attorneys said.

Dimora's wife had no comment when asked about her staying in the home or the upcoming appeal.

NewsChannel5 Chief Investigator Ron Regan first broke the news of the deal when it was pending, before it was announced in court.

The FBI, Dimora's attorney and Gabor's attorney all gave statements to the media following the asset agreement.

[ WEB EXTRA: Click on the video player above to watch the unedited statements from each of the parties involved ]

From FBI spokesman Steve Anthony:
"This saga in many respects has been a sad chapter for the people of Cuyahoga County. Sad in that we've had to witness in vivid detail the pervasive corruption of some in our government. But it's also a hopeful time. Hopeful in that we know that together we can identify, persue and hold accountable those that choose to serve themselves rather than the constituents that elected them."

From Dimora's attorney, Bill Whitaker:
"Obviously, we're disappointed and disagree with the verdict. There will be an appeal. There was evidence we had hoped to get to the jurors, that we were unable to do so. So, we will definitely be filing an appeal."

From Gabor's attorney, Leif Christman:
"We absolutely plan to appeal. We are extremely disappointed. They got one right and clearly lost the way with the rest. Obviously with the amount of witnesses and amount of being in room that was filled with poison, obviously it spilled over."

Dimora appeared to have gotten a hair cut and was clean-shaven in court on Wednesday, compared to Tuesday when he had not shaved. He faces 20 years in prison when he is sentenced. A sentencing date is set for Dimora at 1:30 p.m., July 25.

His co-defendant, Michael Gabor, will be sentenced the same day at 10 a.m.

Dozens of elected officials, contractors and public employees were either named, charged or convicted in the largest corruption probe in local history.

The FBI's Steve Anthony said even though Dimora's trial is over, the agency's corruption investigation is not.

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