Jimmy Dimora, the most powerful man in politics in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, was led away in manacles to FBI headquarters and federal court. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the picture painted by the 177 pages in indictments made public yesterday against eight suspects — including Cuyahoga County commissioner Dimora and two county judges — alleges what could be one of the biggest local political-machine corruption cases in recent U.S. history.
It implicates a second commissioner, Peter Lawson Jones, in the broad pay-for-play scandal that has infected local government and garnered almost three dozen guilty pleas. Jones is not charged, or named, but as “Public Official 9” he has now entered the alpha-numeric lexicon of those who are accused of trading jobs for bribes and campaign donations. The indictments paint Dimora, the gruff, often crude commissioner, as a high-on-the-hog crook indulging himself in goodies at public expense as the boss of a complex corruption scheme in a county that is home to one of the poorest big cities in America.