AKRON, OH (WOIO) - A jury may have been seated last week, but that does not mean Jimmy Dimora's trial is ready to begin.
Akron Federal Judge Sara Lioi has pushed back the start of the corruption trial. It was supposed to begin on Wednesday. Judge Loi was waiting until after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a motion to halt the trial.
Monday the judge announced the trial would not start before January 27th.
The defense claims Dimora is facing double jeopardy -- a claim prosecutors deny.
Jimmy Dimora has pleaded not guilty to multiple corruption and rackateering charges.
Read the entire judge's ruling below:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, CASE NO. 1:10CR387
PLAINTIFF, JUDGE SARA LIOI
JAMES C. DIMORA, et al.,
On May 23, 2011, the Court entered an order granting the motions of
defendants James Dimora and Michael Gabor to continue the trial in this matter, which
was set to begin on September 12, 2011. (Doc. No. 328.) In continuing jury selection in
this matter to January 4, 2012, and opening statements to January 9, 2012, the Court
renewed its earlier finding that the case was complex and that the ends of justice served
by the motions for a continuance outweighed the best interest of the public and
defendants in a speedy trial. The Court also relied on the voluminous discovery in this
matter, as well as the fact that, on March 30, 2011, the grand jury returned a Superseding
Indictment, which added a RICO conspiracy charge and various tax charges. The Court
consequently issued an Amended Trial Order, which set forth dates and deadlines that
were to govern the proceedings in this matter. (Doc. No. 329.)
The parties timely filed over twenty pre-trial motions and numerous
motions in limine. The Court anticipated these filings, inasmuch as they were all timely
filed in accordance with the Court's Amended Trial Order. These motions have all been
resolved by the Court. After the deadline for filing motions, Defendant Dimora also filed
several additional motions to dismiss and motions in limine. (See Doc. Nos. 538, 539,
560, 561, 568, 570, 571, 572, 604.) The Court did not anticipate the filing of these
motions and has had to divert its attention away from trial preparation to address them.
Several of these motions directly addressed the filing of a separate indictment against
Dimora and Michael Forlani in Case No. 1:11CR437. (See Doc. Nos. 538 (motion to
consolidate), 539 (motion to continue the January 4, 2012 trial), 570 (motion to dismiss
for violating double jeopardy), and 571 (motion to dismiss for vindictive prosecution).
On December 16, 2011, the Court denied Dimora's motions to consolidate and to
continue the trial date. (Doc. No. 578.)
On January 2, 2012, the Court issued an opinion and order denying
Dimora's motion to dismiss the present indictment on double jeopardy grounds as
frivolous because the motion was premature and filed in the wrong case. (Doc. No. 596.)
On January 4, 2012, Dimora filed a notice of appeal with the Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals, challenging this Court's January 2, 2012 order denying his double jeopardy
motion. (Doc. No. 603.) Simultaneously, Dimora also filed a motion in this Court to stay
proceedings pending the outcome of the interlocutory appeal on the double jeopardy
ruling. (Doc. No. 604.) On January 5, 2012, the Court in open court denied the motion to
stay as frivolous. The next day, the Court filed a written opinion formalizing its ruling.
(Doc. No. 606.)
Consistent with the Court's Amended Trial Order (and before the Court
was aware of the filing of the Notice of Appeal, which was filed on January 4, 2012 after
normal business hours), the Court commenced voir dire, beginning January 4, 2012 and
ending with the selection of a jury on January 6, 2012. At the conclusion of proceedings
on January 5, 2012, counsel for the government expressed concern that Dimora might
seek a stay in the Sixth Circuit to halt these proceedings pending consideration by the
Sixth Circuit of this Court's double jeopardy ruling. Counsel for Dimora confirmed that
he planned to file a motion for a stay with the Sixth Circuit, and that he anticipated that
such a motion would be filed on January 9, 2012. In light of this development, the Court
elected to delay the swearing in of the jury.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Court shall continue the matter for a
brief period of time to afford the Sixth Circuit an opportunity to consider Dimora's
expected motion to stay these proceedings. See, e.g., United States v. Baldwin, 506 F.
Supp. 300, 302 (M.D. Tenn. 1980) (granting a short continuance of the trial to allow the
defendant to seek an expedited appeal from the district court's denial of a frivolous
motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds). The Court, therefore, finds that the ends
of justice in briefly continuing the case outweigh the best interest of the public and the
defendants in a speedy trial. In the event that the Sixth Circuit has not addressed
Dimora's anticipated motion to stay by January 27, 2012, or at an earlier time at the
Court's discretion, the Court will revisit its decision to continue the trial in this matter.
IT IS SO ORDERED.