Here’s what I wrote back in September shortly after Frank Russo resigned as a Bill of Information charging him with over twenty federal felony charges was publicly released:
I don’t think it’s really as much of a question whether Russo will cooperate. It’s probably already privately happened. Even if I’m wrong, it’s only a matter of time. Russo is staring down 21 counts of federal bribery charges that he’ll have pled guilty to. That kind of reality gets people to re-evaluate their loyalty to people who aren’t family. He has no public office to hold onto. It’s mitigation time.
Frank Russo is going to squeal. It’s only a matter of when.
Yesterday, Russo was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.
Yesterday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Frank Russo wants to cooperate with federal prosecutors in an effort to shorten his nearly 22-year prison sentence — a move that could pit him against his longtime political ally Jimmy Dimora.
Russo, the former Cuyahoga County auditor, pleaded guilty to 21 corruption-related counts in September. He was sentenced Wednesday to 262 months in prison with the understanding that he could be granted leniency in the future.
Meanwhile, former Cuyahoga Democratic Party Chairman/County Commission Jimmy Dimora is having trouble paying for his attorneys. He can’t seem to understand why his bank won’t let him take a loan out on his house that he’s paid off entirely to fund his attorneys. It may be the bank realizes that there’s a chance: 1) the federal government could seek a forfeiture proceeding against the house since it is likely a proceed of Dimora’s alleged criminal misdeeds, or 2) Dimora has no job and is unlikely to ever be able to repay the loan, especially if he’s convicted.
Amazingly, it could still get worse for Dimora as there are several other criminal defendants who are looking to get their sentences shaved by cooperating with the federal government. And Russo is as big of a “get” against Dimora and others as they could possibly get.
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