12:00 AM EST
March 19, 2012
Just imagining Jimmy Dimora shirtless at Bare, the topless pool at the Mirage in Las Vegas, made Clevelanders recoil in horror. But the ex-county commissioner's trial, which exposed him as bribe-pocketing racketeer, proved just dreamy for a few folks. Here's who won when Dimora lost.
Jimmy Dimora was led from the courtroom in chains. Frank Russo likely bought another year of freedom. His promise to cooperate in the mop-up trials of minor corruption figures led the feds to postpone Russo's prison date yet again.
It's hard to bat 1.000 in federal court. But the government's 33 hits out of 34 charges (a .971 average) vindicate its long investigation and the 3 1/2 years between the FBI raids and the verdict.
At first, some were aghast that 19 Action News created a puppet show out of the trial testimony. But The Puppet's Court became a nationwide hit. Dimora & Co.'s sleazy one-liners sounded even funnier when squeaked in Muppetlike voices. And with no cameras allowed in the courthouse, the shot of a hand stuffing cash down a hooker-puppet's blouse may become the trial's iconic image.