Judge won't halt public corruption trial in Ohio

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2012 2:55 PM
Judge won't halt public corruption trial in Ohio

A judge refused to halt Thursday's corruption trial of a former county official who claims two indictments against him amount to double jeopardy, or being prosecuted twice for the same crime.

U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi ruled against the trial delay sought by former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and called the defense move frivolous, according to WEWS-TV ( http://bit.ly/vYVDRe).

The trial continued with a second day of jury selection.

The defense has asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to take up the double jeopardy issue.

The judge says double jeopardy cannot be argued until the first trial ends. No trial date has been set on the second indictment, on conspiracy charges.

The government disputes the double jeopardy claim.

Dimora's attorney said in the filing that Dimora would be put at legal risk "from having to deal with simultaneous indictments alleging nearly identical criminal conduct."

Dimora has pleaded not guilty to both indictments.

The first indictment alleged that Dimora, a former chairman of the county Democratic Party in Cleveland, accepted bribes in return for steering contracts and arranging county government jobs.

The second indictment for extortion and conspiracy named Dimora and a contractor who allegedly provided gifts, meals, money and home improvements in return for contracting work on public projects.

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Information from: WEWS-TV, http://www.newsnet5.com