Monday, July 28, 2008

FBI raids Cuyahoga County offices

The FBI and IRS raided the offices of county commissioner Jimmy Dimora, county auditor Frank Russo and county engineer Robert Klaiber Jr. this morning as part of what an FBI spokesperson called a "long-term investigation" of "public corruption."

Federal agents conducted raids on the third and fourth floors of the county administration building, where the county commissioners, administrator, and auditor offices are located. Dimora's offices were searched, according to a county staffer. Agents also searched Russo's first floor offices. Not raided were the offices of the two other county commissioners, Peter Lawson Jones and Tim Hagan, according to their staff.

FBI agents were also searching the engineer's office on the Superior Viaduct.

Scott Wilson of the FBI, on the scene at the county building, would not say how long the investigation has been going on. However, IRS spokesperson Phil Okonek said the statute of limitations for tax evasion is 6 years.

The agents served at least 10 search warrants, also raiding businesses and residences, including Dimora's home, according to
—Erick Trickey and Andy Netzel

(Caption: An FBI agent stands guard inside county auditor Frank Russo's office on the first floor of the county building this morning.)

For more about recent county government controversies, see Michael D. Roberts' July My Town, "Rage Machine," and Erick Trickey's June report on the Ameritrust Tower, "Tower Play."

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