Key player delivers damaging testimony in Jimmy Dimora corruption trial

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - A damaging day of testimony in the Jimmy Dimora corruption trial.

Dimora said nothing as he entered the courthouse with his wife and defense team.

The first witness to take the stand was Richard Mansfield, an FBI agent who worked on the case and did surveillance on a meeting at Teamz Restaurant. It was brief, only dealing with his observations of the meeting at Teamz. It is owned by Ferris Kleem's family.  Kleem met there with Jimmy Dimora, Frank Russo and others.

Next witness was Roger Keller, a carpenter who worked for six years for Blaze Construction.  He described his duties as maintaining Ferris Kieem's properties.  He testified that he delivered a refrigerator to Jimmy Dimora's house.  Prosecutors contend that Kleem purchased the unit and delivered it to Dimora in an effort to influence or "bribe" him.  He also says he delivered a television to Dimora's house.  Both deliveries occurred in 2006.

Ferris Kleem was next on the stand. Kleem was close to tears as he talked about returning to his native Lebanon, building a health clinic and being elected mayor of a town there.

Kleem told the jury that he bribed Dimora in order to get more business from the county.  He says he bought TV sets, Rolex watches, a refrigerator, political contributions and contributions to other candidates that Jimmy Dimora told him to give to.  He was asked if he ever had meals with Dimora.  He said yes.  When asked if he paid Kleem said "always."

Kleem started to give specific details of the Las Vegas trip.  Kleem says he paid for the airfare, the luxury suites at the Mirage hotel and gave Dimora and Frank Russo cash.  Each man was given $5,000 to gamble and another $1,000 to cover their airfare.  Surveillance video from the casino also shows Kleem handing additional gambling chips to Dimora at a blackjack table.

Once, Kleem invited Dimora and Frank Russo to dinner.  They showed up with 14 people.  Kleem was stuck with the $4,000 bill. 

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