AKRON -- The trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora gotunderway in earnest just after 8 a.m. Thursday, with U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi hearing arguments regarding motions that were alreadybefore the court.
At that time, the jury had yet to be brought in while prosecutors and the defense present their arguments.
At 8:50 a.m., Lioi swore the jury in. One juror had already been replaced, due to a medical condition that arose. The first alternate juror has been seated, leaving 12 jurors and now 5 alternates.
Dimora, 56, of Independence, along with former county auditor's office employee Michael Gabor, 52, of Parma, are ontrial as part of the FBI/IRS multi-year probe of corruption in Cuyahoga County government.
Gabor is charged with four counts ofbribery and Dimora is charged with 33 counts overall in this trial, including bribery, conspiracy and racketeering
Starting at 9 a.m., Assistant U.S. Attorney Antoinette Bacon began giving theopening statement for the prosecution. Bacon immediately linked Dimora to former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo.
The first break of the morning came about 10:25 a.m, with Bacon still not finished with her opening.
Russo, 62, of Bratenahl, has already pleaded guilty to 21 counts and has been sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison. He remains out of prison as he will be a prosecution witness for the government.
Attorney Andrea Whitakerwill present her opening statement on behalf of Dimora next. Attorney Leif Christman will speak on behalf of Gabor.
This trial is expected to last three months and include more than 100 witnesses.