Convicted corruption defendant Gabor requests new trial

9:37 PM, Apr 6, 2012   |    comments
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AKRON -- Late Friday night, convicted Cuyahoga County corruption defendant Michael Gabor filed motions with federal court for a new trial and acquittal on his convictions.

Gabor's attorney Leif Christman based the request in part on U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi's denial to try Gabor separately from co-defendant Jimmy Dimora.

Gabor was found guilty on March 9 on seven of the eight counts he was charged with.

The seven counts were: Count One: RICO conspiracy; Counts Seventeen, Nineteen, and Twenty-One which alleged various criminal acts relating to Steve Pumper and his businesses; Count Twenty-Eight, Obstruction; and Counts Thirty-One and Thirty-Two which involved Joseph Gallucci's exchange of political favors for employment.

Christman states that the testimony regarding those counts did not truly reflect Gabor's involvement. 

In the 37-page filing, Christman noted, in part, the following:

"The Government's case against Gabor relied upon the testimony of four witnesses (J. Kevin Kelley, Joe Gallucci, Steve Pumper, and Frank Russo). Each of these witnesses was a cooperating witness who had pled guilty and was testifying in the hopes of reducing their own sentences. These credibility issues are applicable to all of the charges..."

"...At the time of the events in question, and during the time of his proffers, Kelley suffered from untreated bi-polar disorder. This condition caused him to hallucinate and hear voices....He was also an alcoholic, drinking as much as a fifth of rum every day...At the time of trial, he was prescribed 21 different medications."

"Further, Kelley had engaging extensive criminal activities at the county and Parma, and therefore needed to curry favor with the (Assistant U.S. Attorney) in an attempt to reduce his sentence...Kelley's plea agreement lists extensive criminal activity. Kelley's actions show him to be highly manipulative and self-serving."

"...Joseph Gallucci pled guilty to running for (county) auditor in 2006 in exchange for money arranged by Russo and a job at the auditor's office. His testimony at trial did not match up with the other witnesses as to the amount of money he was to receive. His story was suspicious, as it alleged that the payments from Gabor happened the exact same way each time. This makes for an easy (way) to remember story, but does not make sense."

"He was willing to meet Russo in public on a monthly basis, so there was no reason for a clandestine meeting with Gabor."

"Steven Pumper had been caught redhanded bribing a City of Cleveland inspector. In spite of being caught redhanded, he lied about it to the FBI. Pumper's plea agreement includes restitution amounts of $186,000 to Cuyahoga County, $117,000 to Parma School District, and between $500,000 and $1.7 million to Phillips Medical for crimes related to those entities."

"During the time period covered by his testimony, Pumper was an alcoholic. Further, he testified that he was still drinking at the time of his testimony..."

"Frank Russo had numerous criminal activities that he was involved in, going back to the beginning of his employment with the County. One scheme alone, which involved VAS doing commercial appraisal work for the county, generated roughly $1.3 million dollars in bribe money over a 10-year period."

"Russo's plea allowed him to protect his domestic partner, Michael Calabresse, his daughter, Shelley Russo, her fiancé Adelbert Marous, as well as Russo's other children."

"The jury clearly had questions about Russo's credibility. Gabor was found not guilty for the alleged promotion buying scheme involving Lillian and James Trovato. This scheme relied primarily on Russo's testimony that Gabor brought him $6,000 in Las Vegas. Indeed, the only way the jury could have found Gabor not guilty is if it found that Russo was lying."

WKYC-TV

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