News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Metro RTA

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Sentencing reveals new names, allegations in Cuyahoga corruption case
Cleveland council president and car deals get more scrutiny
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Michael Forlani (L) with attorney Tom Kirsch in August
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Cuyahoga County corruption case continues, and some new and notable names are coming up.

 Cleveland businessman Michael Forlani to be sentenced this week in U.S. district court in Akron, five months after he pleaded  guilty to 13 corruption-related charges.   Now, as WKSU’s Mark Urycki reports, he’s trying to convince Judge Sara Lioi that his crimes did not amount to much.  

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:33)


Michael Forlani doesn’t dispute that he did favors for former County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora and others in hopes of getting contracts.   But his lawyer is disputing a lot of the little $200 or $300 favors because, as the money adds up, his restitution and even his sentencing will add up.  

Forlani owned what was probably the largest electrical contractor in Cleveland – Doan Pyramid Electric, which once employed as many as 500 union electricians.

Yesterday, FBI agent Melissa Fortunato testified that Doan Pyramid was paying for discounted cars for Dimora.   From 2001 to 2008 Dimora bought or rented vehicles from Serpentini Chevrolet in Aurora. The agent said Serpentini gave the commissioner discounts that added up to over $38,000 but then turned around and billed the shortfall to Doan Pyramid.  

She testified that Serpentini also paid 19,500 dollars for a trade-in from former Port Authority member Robert Peto but sold the vehicle for $18,100 or $1,400 less.  The dealer ending up charging the difference to Doan Pyramid Electric's account.

Forlani's attorney, Tom Kirsh, argued that the FBI had no proof that Doan Pyramid actually paid those invoices. 

Martin Sweeney and the phone call
Later, prosecutors played a phone tap between Forlani and Cleveland developer John Ferchill, in which Forlani said he just donated $20,000 to City Council President Martin Sweeney’s "Council Leadership Fund."  He told Ferchill, “He needs to control council so we don’t have any problems.” And later, “Money gets you a lot votes when you need them.”

Prosecutors did not explain what, if any, deal was in the works during the April 2008 phone call.

Ferchill wrote a letter of support to the court on Forlani’s behalf. He hugged Forlani before the hearing and sat in the courtroom gallery most of the day, leaving right after prosecutors played the tape of him and Forlani. 

Today, prosecutors are planning to call two men who have already been convicted in the corruption scandal J. Kevin Kelley and Steve Pumper. Former City Council member Sabra Pierce Scott is also expected in court some time this week.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Pluto: The Browns split from Manziel is long overdue
Get Brock Osweiler from the Denver Broncos! He's fantastic and seems like a great person.

Democratic Senate hopeful P.G. Sittenfeld pushes for local gun control
That makes no sense at all... why not let cities determine driving codes as well? Maybe Cincy want's folks to drive on the left side of the road. What could go ...

Exploradio: Autism in the workplace
I would love to get more information re: Autism on The Town and other such programs in Northeast Ohio. Thanks!!

Human trafficking cases rise in Ohio
It is about time this is presented to proceed with a plan of prevention..to protect our youth.And very necessary to inform communities through school, churches ...

Fermented food company aims to preserve Cleveland's farm-to-table movement
This is terrific! I make my own sauerkraut and consider it vital to good health. Well done, I wish you all success.

Ohio doctors get new guidelines for prescribing certain painkillers
I would gladly smoke pot to get off pain killers but its not legal.It would save the hassle of doctor visits for pill counts,pee tests,blood tests,driving to pi...

Ohio unemployment cuts are nearing a Statehouse vote
What about those that are laid off seasonally? My husband has been employed by the same company for 26 years and has been laid off (for the last 17) mid-Januar...

Ban on microbeads is a big step in fighting plastic pollution
What a bunch of liberal "so open minded their brains fell out" tree huggin yuppies. Professing to be wise they became fools.

Who's on -- and left off -- Ohio's medical marijuana task force?
Biggest joke everm these people are evil they know marijuana is harmless they rigged the polls last nov everypne kmows it

Dayton 'Black Lives Matter' protesters to appear in court today
Police to fast with the trigger finger and not the brain.A lot of police officers out here judge by color first instead of accessing the situation first. If a p...

Copyright © 2016 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University