The Sixth District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has denied convicted former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Bridget McCafferty her appeal of her March 2011 conviction. The ruling was handed down Tuesday afternoon.
McCafferty, now 46, of Westlake was found guilty on 10 counts of lying to the FBI on March 26, 2011. She reported to Federal Prison Camp Alderson, West Virginia, on Sept. 15, 2011, to begin serving her 14-month sentence. She is scheduled for release on September 17.
She was convicted of lying to the FBI during an interview as part of the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation. Prosecutors say McCafferty lied to protect her political bosses, former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.
Russo testified against her during her trial in March.
Dimora, 56, was convicted on 33 of 34 counts March 9 and was immediately taken into federal custody as he awaits his sentencing.
Russo pleaded guilty to 21 counts and remains free as he continues to testify against other corruption defendants. He is facing 21 years and 11 months in prison but hopes to reduce his sentence by cooperating with federal prosecutors.
In their ruling, Sixth Circuit judges said all seven of the alleged errors by U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi claimed by McCafferty's attorney were deemed "without merit."
That the district court improperly admitted testimony about ex parte communications and the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct
That the district court erred in not playing a wiretap conversation during trial, in violation of her right of confrontation under the Sixth Amendment.
That the indictment was improper as it did not set forth the objective truth claimed to be in contrast to her alleged false statements.
That the district court erred in admitting a voice mail message into evidence
That the district court erred in admitting a statement of a co-conspirator
That the district court erred in refusing to dismiss certain counts or require the government to elect among multiplicitous counts, and
That the district court abused its discretion by varying upwards five levels in sentencing her.