AKRON -- Jimmy Dimora's lawyer says 28 years in federal prison amounts to a death sentence.
Bill Whitaker, speaking to reporters after his client, the former Cuyahoga County Commissioner, was sentenced to 28 years in prison, said he had never seen a sentence so severe for the types of crimes Dimora had been convicted.
Dimora is 57 years old.He would be 85 if he lived out the entire term of his sentence.
"It's a grossly unfair sentence, period. The sentence will be appealed," Whitaker announced in front of the U.S. District Courthouse in Akron. He also said he and his daughter, Andrea, who was co-counsel to Dimora in the public corruption case, would appeal other aspects of the trial.
"Mr. Dimora's ethics reports were not allowed to be seen by the jury," Whitaker protested, saying that Dimora never voted for a public contract other than those that went to the lowest bidder.
"Mister Dimora was very truthful in what he told the court."
The issues, which the Whitakers intend to revisit in an appeal, had been largely dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi before and after Dimora's trial, which lasted sometwo months earlier this year.
On his way out of the courtroom, Dimora was heard remarking to lead U.S. Attorney Ann Rowland, "I hope you're happy." He also made a remark in her directionabout "government storytellers."