AKRON -- Jimmy Dimora's lawyers say prosecutors have confused friendship with corruption in the former politician's racketeering trial.

Andrea Whitaker presented an opening statement to the jury of just over one hour. She and her father, William Whitaker, are representing Dimora who is charged with more than 30 counts of public corruption.

"The government has confused friendship with corruption," Andrea Whitaker stated to the jury. "The government has confused Jimmy Dimora with Frank Russo."

Whitaker told the jury she would be referring to Dimora as "Jimmy," because that's what people who know him call him. "Nothing illegal occurred," she said, of all the instances in which Dimora is accused of taking bribes in exchange for favors.

"The evidence will show Jimmy Dimora never received any cash from anyone. The government has confused carousing and drinking and poker and friendship with corruption."

U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi sent the jury to lunch for one hour following Whitaker's opening statement.

When court resumes at about 1:15 p.m. Thursday, co-defendant Michael Gabor's attorney, Leif Christman, will make his opening statement.

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