Corruption Trial: Prosecutors lay foundation that Jimmy Dimora could be bought

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Testimony has begun in the Jimmy Dimora corruption trial.

Dimora came to court with his wife and legal team, he said nothing as he entered the building.

FBI special agent Raymond Massie was once again on the stand testifying about wiretaps. The tapes being played Tuesday morning involved the time frame immediately after Dimora and others returned from the infamous Vegas trip.

The first tape is of J. Kevin Kelley talking to Ferris Kleem.  Kleem is asking Kelley to have a specific inspector assigned to the Snow Road resurfacing project.  Kleem wanted an inspector named John Chyla assigned to the job.  Kelley called a man named Mike Dever to try and have Chyla assigned to the job.

Later in a discussion with Kleem, Kelley says if it doesn't get done he will call Jimmy who can use his clout to make it happen.

Kelley made calls throwing Dimora's name around saying, "Jimmy couldn't help him on a big job.  I really want to get this done for this guy."

Later, Kelley says Dimora had attempted to get the winning JJC bidder Panzica Construction thrown off the job. He failed in that attempt, but within a month, Kleem's company was awarded the Snow Road project worth just under $3 million dollars.

Prosecutors are laying a foundation that Dimora could be bought.  Showing jurors receipts for appliance purchases made by Ferris Kleem, and then showing pictures of the appliances in Dimora's house.  Many of the purchases go back years before the raids.

Jimmy Dimora's defense attorney William Whitaker, started his cross examination of FBI Special Agent Raymond Massie late Tuesday morning.

He confirmed that 44,000 phone conversations were taped during the investigation and that 16,000 involved Dimora.

Whitaker explored the FBI's ability to edit the recordings and play only portions to the jury.  It appears he is also trying to separate Dimora's role as Commissioner from his role as chairman of the Democratic Party.

At times, Whitaker seemed unprepared and stumbled through his notes and questions, unable to find exhibits.

While Whitaker was cross-examining Agent Massie, Judge Lioi suggested Whitaker "focus in on the facts as opposed to the law."

Whitaker later sparred with prosecutors over his line of questioning.  Whitaker asked about what constitutes an "official act" by a public official.  His questions seem convoluted and have resulted in repeated objections from prosecutors and several admonitiions from Judge Sarah Lioi. 

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