The Beginning: Cuyahoga County corruption scandal - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

The Beginning: Cuyahoga County corruption scandal

There was no testimony in the Jimmy Dimora corruption trial on Monday as courts were closed due to the federal holiday.

19 Action News Reporter Paul Orlousky has tracked the case from the beginning and looks at how the FBI developed a tiny bit of information into this massive case.

Swarms of FBI and IRS agents carting hard drives and boxes of documents from the Cuyahoga County Administration Building. July 28th, 2008, the homes of Jimmy Dimora and Frank Russo also raided along with a half dozen businesses whose executives have pleaded guilty and cut deals with the feds.

Most interesting, DAS Construction, whose boss was Steven Pumper. With 150 or so agents working that day, the assumption is that the investigation always was this massive. In truth, it had very humble beginnings.

The first solid clue that Dimora and Russo were involved when an FBI agent met with Cleveland building inspector Bobby Cuevas at a suburban Boston Market.  Cuevas was working with the FBI and agreed to solicit a bribe from Steven Pumper of DAS.  Pumper gave him an envelope and when he came outside the FBI confronted him.  He said, "You don't want me you want Dimora and Russo and them."

Prior to that, rumors had been spreading that something stunk about the county's ill fated Ameritrust Tower purchase. The FBI had already been talking to 10 confidential informants, but didn't have a direct tie to Dimora and Russo. With Pumper's help, now it did.

Kevin Kelley talked tough as a school board president about people illegally attending Parma schools. In the corruption case, he was a pussycat, providing information to agents as soon as they came knocking. Another misconception is that the FBI had been listening to wiretaps for years. Not true. The wiretaps didn't begin until December of 2007 - only 7 months before the raids.

So the deal making, the talk of prostitutes and everything we've heard so far covers only a snippet of the long political careers of Dimora and Russo. You have to wonder what the FBI doesn't know about.

Copyright 2012 WOIO. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • North Korean envoy, in South, opens door to US talks

    North Korean envoy, in South, opens door to US talks

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:15 PM EST2018-02-25 04:15:38 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 1:00 PM EST2018-02-25 18:00:30 GMT
    (Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP). Kim Yong Chol, center, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, arrives to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at the Korea-transit office near the Demilitarized Zon...(Korea Pool/Yonhap via AP). Kim Yong Chol, center, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, arrives to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at the Korea-transit office near the Demilitarized Zon...
    North Korean delegation led by a controversial former general arrives in South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Full Story >
    North Korean delegation led by a controversial former general arrives in South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Full Story >
  • Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:16 AM EST2018-02-25 07:16:08 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:59 PM EST2018-02-25 17:59:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    Full Story >

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    Full Story >
  • 3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

    3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:25 AM EST2018-02-25 07:25:46 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 12:58 PM EST2018-02-25 17:58:30 GMT
    (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River  Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...(Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    Full Story >

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly