AKRON, Ohio — After waiting nearly a year, former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora will get another day in court this June that could lead to his release after more than a decade in federal prison.
Judge Sara Lioi released a 47-page decision Monday (read the document below) outlining the lengthy case history, Dimora's years of appeals and her new decision to dismiss two of the 32 counts he was convicted on in 2012.
However, one law expert at Case Western Reserve University says the decision still has some negatives for Dimora.
"Even if you take these two counts out, he’s still got 30 counts of conviction," CWRU law instructor Michael Benza told 3News. "While there will be some decrease in his sentence, It should not be a significant decrease."
But Lioi's written decision leaves the door open for Dimora's potential release. In her ruling, she writes that she will "consider all prior sentencing memoranda" and she welcomes more written arguments from opposing attorneys on sentencing.
Dimora's 28-year sentence is one of the longest terms ever handed a political figure in the U.S.
He is currently being held at a medical prison facility near Boston.
Dimora, 66, is in deteriorating health, his supporters have told 3News Investigates. He was housed in Elkton prison prior to being moved to the medical prison for heart-related issues.
Elkton was one the nation's prisons most impacted by COVID-19, a virus that has killed more than 900,000 Americans.
In addition, under federal guidelines, Dimora's 10 years in prison is equal to 13 years when good behavior standards are applied.
"The judge can take into account these developments since the original sentencing so she could give credit to a decrease in his sentence for his medical health issue," Benza adds. "She can take into account if he's had behavior issues in prison, whether that’s good behavior or bad. When he comes out he’s really going to have to rely on his network of family and friends remaining to help him get back on his feet."
Meanwhile, Dimora's most prominent co-defendant, former Auditor Frank Russo, is living his life in a Lake County suburb. Russo, then 70, was given compassionate release by a prison warden in the middle of the pandemic after serving about seven years of an original 22-year sentence.
Russo still owes more than $6.9 million in restitution.
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Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous article regarding Dimora on July 3, 2018.