Artist: Bob Novak
AKRON -- The jury in Jimmy Dimora's corruption trial Friday watched undercover FBI video of Dimora's April, 2008 trip to Las Vegas.
The video shows Dimora and others involved in the county corruption investigation playing blackjack at the Mirage Hotel.
Prosecutors focused on 20 instances in which Dimora is seen being handed $100 gambling chips at the table by Ferris Kleem, a Berea businessman who has already pleaded guilty to bribing Dimora in hopes of winning his influence in county contracts.
Kleem also paid for the Vegas trip for Dimora, J. Kevin Kelley, and Frank Russo and says he paid for a $1,000 prostitute for Dimora.
FBI agent Michael Massie, in his second day of testimony, told the jury how he and other agents followed Kleem, Dimora, and the rest of the travel party from the time they left Cleveland through the rest of the trip.
Massie said the total value of the chips which Kleem passed to Dimora one at a time, was $3,425.
Prosecutors were trying to prove that Dimora was accepting things of value in return for his power and influence as a Cuyahoga County commissioner.
The jury also saw pictures of Dimora and his entourage at a private resort area of the Mirage known as the Bare Pool, a jaunt also paid for by Kleem.
In a cell phone call made from the Bare Pool, where women are allowed to be topless, Dimora and Kleem discussed Kleem's bid on a $35 million county construction job.
The call, to Dimora's assistant back in Cleveland, concerned the fact that Kleem was not the low bidder on a contract he wanted. Dimora inquired as to details of the bids and whether there could be a chance that Kleem's company could be awarded the bid.
In another call between Dimora and Kleem, they talk about the topless women at the Bare Pool. Dimora tells Kleem how "gorgeous" they were and that he took cell phone video of them. Kleem tells Dimora that one of them was "the one I was hoping to send up to your room."