AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County corruption trial of Jimmy Dimora marches on in Federal Court.
Douglas Hogan, Manager of External Affairs for First Energy in Cuyahoga County, was the first witness on the stand Friday.
He testified about an effort by Ferris Kleem to speed up an electricity connection to an apartment complex Kleem was building by using the influence of Jimmy Dimora.
It is his job to interface with electrical customers so that the utility can anticipate demand and be prepared to provide service when expansions or other changes are made in the businesses.
He says that J. Kevin Kelley called him to try and speed the issue for Kleem. He dropped Jimmy Dimora's name to accomplish that saying, "I am calling on behalf of County Commissioner Dimora."
Hogan says he went up the chain of command at First Energy and was able to speed up the connection timetable.
Hogan was called later by Kelley who had Jimmy Dimora on the phone. Dimora thanked him for his help. Hogan said Kleem could have called directly and Dimora said, "That's OK, I like to do favors for my friends." He said this was the only time Dimora ever called him for a favor. He also says he gets calls like this all the time, often from public officials. These requests are usually about street lights, trimming a tree, or straightening a pole. Calls about hookups are far less frequent.
Special Agent Raymond Michael Massie returned to the stand following Hogan. His testimony concerned Alternatives Agency, whose leader Brian Schuman has pleaded guilty to paying bribes in order to insure continued funding from Cuyahoga County.
J. Kevin Kelley facilitated the transaction and is heard on a taped phone call letting the agency know the funding would be continued.
In an intercepted phone call, he notified Schuman that some funding was restored saying, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Start singing. You're lucky to have us as friends. You actually may end up with more than you had last year."
When the conversation turned to two people who wanted cuts made, Kelley said, "We're gonna get them. Some day, some how. We're gonna f*** them hard." Loyalty makes up for brains any day."
With Alternatives Agency on center stage, it sets another stage. An appearance of one of the biggest stars in this drama. The villain, the rat - J. Kevin Kelley.
Brian Schuman took the stand just after 2:30pm. He was the former house director for Alternatives Agency halfway house. He also served as a Bedford Municipal Court bailiff.
Schuman was charged in June 2009 along with Kevin Kelley, Daniel Gallagher and Kevin Payne. He plead guilty to the charges
Brian Schuman worked with Kevin Kelley to set up the Las Vegas trip in hopes of getting a $250,000 county contract for Alternatives Agency. Along with his county position, Kevin Kelley was paid more than $4,000 a month as a consultant for Alternatives Agency, but didn't do much work for them.