Jimmy Dimora appeals corruption conviction in fight for his life, gets new attorney

CLEVELAND - Convicted felon Jimmy Dimora has appealed his case, and he has a new attorney.

Court documents filed Monday morning show the appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit list Christian Grostic of Kushner & Hamed Co. as his new attorney.

Dimora was convicted by a federal jury on dozens of corruption-related charges, and was represented by William Whitaker, and his daughter Andrea Whitaker.

It is typical to get a new attorney for an appeal.

The Kushner & Hamed website bio on Grostic states he practices civil and white-collar criminal litigation, and is a former trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Before that, he was a law clerk to Judge Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The firm's website also states Grostic is the author of law review articles, including, "Evolving Objective Standards: A Developmental Approach to Constitutional Review of Morals Legislation." (The 2006 article is viewable here: bit.ly/Ny1CZt .)

Dimora was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. The Whitakers had argued for leniency at his sentencing hearing, citing ongoing health issues.

The former political powerhouse cried in court right before his sentencing as one of his attorneys read several letters written by his family and friends. The letters were another way to ask for leniency.

If his conviction is upheld, Dimora would be 85 years old when he's released from federal prison.
 
In addition to his life and his freedom, Dimora's wife's stake in the Independence home also will be affected by this appeal.

According to an agreement made with the government, Lori is allowed to stay in the home if Dimora's conviction is overturned on appeal. But if Dimora's conviction is upheld, Lori has six months to sell the home, and leave it.

In the meantime, Dimora's wife is responsible for maintaining the property and making all payments.

Dimora forfeited his half of the home following his conviction. Records show the home is valued at about $430,000. Many improvements and upgrades were made to the home, and the improvements were at the center of the government's case.

The former Cuyahoga County Commissioner has requested to serve his time at the Butner Federal Prison near Durham, North Carolina. It is the largest medical and psychological complex in the federal prison system, and often is described as the system's "crown jewel."

The prison bureau will decide where Dimora is incarcerated.

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