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AKRON -- The tone and content of then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora's wiretapped calls becomes more "guarded" and secretive after D-A-S's Steve Pumper is approached by the FBI on May 23, 2008.
In calls played for jurors during testimony by FBI Special Agent Christine Oliver, Jimmy Dimora and other members of the so-called "A Team" are heard to tell each other not to discuss things on the phone any more and they set up meetings to talk in person.
The calls had been wiretapped by the FBI and that is what Dimora and others suspected.
The date of May 23, 2008, was when Pumper, then president of D-A-S Construction, was with the FBI.
In calls between Dimora and then-Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo, former Parma school board member J. Kevin Kelley, then-county employee Michael Gabor and others like former plumbers union official Robert Rybak, they seek to find a paper trail for the approximately $69,000 worth of improvements Pumper did for free at Dimora's home in Independence from 2002-2008.
A prosecution exhibit shown just before noon Monday explained by Oliver shows how D-A-S did $69,597.30 worth of work at Dimora's home and back yard between 2002 and 2007.
It also showed that D-A-S only billed Dimora $40,323.30 (of which he only paid only a couple of thousand dollars) and that D-A-S did not bill Dimora $29,274.
In detail, D-A-S performed lawn irrigation work worth $1,793 in 2002; built an outdoor shed and did interior work in 2002 for an undisclosed amount; built a covered patio in 2004 for $18,878; constructed an outdoor bathroom in 2005 for $13,098; and built the outdoor kitchen in 2007 for $27,225.
The secretive calls began May 23, 2008, and went through the Memorial Day weekend that year.
The jury has already seen FBI photos of the improvements at Dimora's home, including a resort-like back yard complete with a pool, cabana, a huge canopied porch, a full kitchen with a triple pizza oven and an icemaker.
One of the calls Oliver talked about was between Dimora and Pumper's then-attorney George Argie Jr.
"Figured you didn't recognize my number," Argie is heard to say in a May 2008 wiretap. "I'd like to have 15 minutes of your time. It's kind of important."
Dimora is heard to wonder to Argie whether the federal government was looking at the county or into Pumper. He also asked about the FBI agents who were investigating Pumper.
Argie responded that the investigation was "strictly towards my client." "Nothin' directed toward your direction," Argie said. "I'm not saying it can't change."
It was on July 28, 2008, that the FBI went public with its already years-long probe, when 200 FBI agents conducted simultaneous raids on county offices, homes of county officials that included Dimora and Russo, and businesses who had done work with the county.
Dimora, 56, of Independence, faces 36 charges, including racketeering, bribery and conspiracy.
Gabor, 52, of Parma, is Dimora's co-defendant and faces multiple bribery and conspiracy charges, including a charge that he tried to pay Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Judge Celebrezze $10,000 to fix his divorce case.
Both have pleaded not guilty.