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Jimmy Dimora’s lawyers confirm he tested positive for COVID-19 in Elkton

Published: May. 24, 2020 at 10:56 PM EDT
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LISBON, Ohio (WOIO) - Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora is serving time at Elkton Federal Prison, which currently has 131 inmates and 8 staff members with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons.

On Sunday, Dimora’s lawyers David Mills and Philip Kushner confirmed their client is one of those confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Mills said Dimora emailed him on Friday night with the positive COVID-19 test result, however, Mills does not know what condition he is in.

“We are disappointed that this occurred, as we wrote letters beginning in early April repeatedly asking that Mr. Dimora be placed on home confinement consistent with BOP policy and instructions of the U.S. Attorney General,” Mills said in the letter he sent to Elkton Warden Mark Williams on Saturday. We want to ensure he receives proper medical care. We ask that you keep us informed of his condition, including any progression of his symptoms. In addition, if you are contemplating any change in his location, including to a hospital, please let us know immediately."

Mills also said in the letter, “We, along with his family and friends, are concerned.”

Kushner told 19 News, “Our overall feeling is we’re very upset. He is an at-risk individual and we’ve been trying to get Elkton to move him. They ignored our request and sure enough, he has the virus. Elkton failed to properly care for at-risk prisoners. We were very disappointed, but we’re focused on making sure he gets proper care and remedy the damage that has now been done."

A federal judge in Cleveland previously ordered that 837 inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton be released with conditions or transferred because seven inmates at Elkton had died from COVID-19.

Mills said on Sunday that it is his understanding that the death toll of Elkton inmates with COVID-19 now stands at nine.

The group of prisoners is more vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19 because of their health and their age.

The inmates on the list will be quarantined for two weeks, and the Bureau of Prisons will determine which inmates meet the criteria to serve house arrest.

ALCU of Ohio senior staff attorney David Carey previously said “Elkton prison is the sight of one of the worst COVID outbreaks in the country."

The Federal Bureau of Prison’s COVID-19 cases list shows that to still be true.

So will 64-year-old Dimora, who was part of the largest corruption scandal in Ohio history, be released after serving eight years of his 28-year sentence?

Attorney David Mills represents Dimora on appeal and previously stated in the beginning of May that this is not a get out of jail free card, but it could save his life.

“He’s [Dimora] a good candidate for home confinement or some type of transfer out of there due to his condition, and he is a non-violent offender,” Mills previously said.

Legal experts say no matter what the crime, prisoners have rights and you can’t just lock the door and throw away the key, because it’s not just impacting inmates but those who watch over them.

Elkton is a facility that houses non-violent offenders.

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