Ex-official testifies at NE Ohio corruption trial

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- The star witness at a high-profile public corruption trial in northeast Ohio has testified against a former political power broker, saying the man craved free meals, liquor and prostitutes.

Former Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Auditor Frank Russo took the stand Tuesday at the Akron federal court trial of former Commissioner Jimmy Dimora. Russo was expected to testify more Wednesday.

Dimora is a former county Democratic chairman in Cleveland. He's on trial on bribery and racketeering charges and has pleaded not guilty.

Russo has pleaded guilty to bribery and agreed to testify in hopes of trimming a nearly 22-year sentence. He testified that people seeking jobs and contracts offered bribes, meals and prostitutes to gain influence with Dimora.

The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/AgKrhA ) says the two longtime buddies avoided eye contact in court.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com