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.

Akron General

Wayside Furniture


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
Crime and Courts


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


Senior 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

Farm-to-School: Cafeteria lunch is fresh and local at Tallmadge High School
Great job Tallmadge City Schools! So glad to have a progressive business manager and superintendant!

World premiere at Cleveland Institute of Music is fanfare for a new theme
J'ai une grande admiration pour Daniil Trifonov que j'ai vu en concert deux fois à Paris je ne lui trouve pas d'égal c'est un ange tombe du ciel

Kent's journalism school faculty protest presidential search secrecy
There really was too much secrecy behind the selection process. Hopefully the letter by the faculty members will convince the board to provide more information ...

Belgian cargo ship creates new export route between Antwerp and NEO
The vessel is registered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Not in Belgium ;)

Exploradio: Tracking Ohio's champion trees
Absolutely loved this story. We lost 3 of our larger ash trees last year due to EAB. Big, beautiful trees are something to be treasured, and many times they tru...

Ohio's rules on fracking and earthquakes are a first
I'm right in the middle of the issue. Like oil independence, but hope there is pre- and current-drilling assurance re dangers from pollution, earthquakes and th...

Bridgestone exec indictments are latest step in a billion-dollar price-fixing case
Why is O.P.E.C Not investigated and charges brought against it and it's member companies? It sounds exactly the same...

Ohio's new drilling rules rely on known earthquake faults
requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines. This comment really upsets me!! What good does an instrument t...

Kasich's gubernatorial ad focuses on his blue-collar roots
John Kasich is the biggest con-man in America. He will say one thing and then do the opposite. He is terribly successful at fooling the public and he is worki...

Cab drivers who refuse to drive Gay Games taxis will be replaced
the irony is that most americans distrust or hate muslims much more than they hate gays!! silly ignorant bigots-GO HOME!!!

Copyright © 2014 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