Trial judge withholds tapes in Ohio bribery case

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- A federal judge in Ohio is withholding hundreds of sometimes-raunchy audio recordings used as trial evidence against a former county commissioner convicted of racketeering.

Judge Sara Lioi (LEE'-oy) in Akron ruled Thursday that the tapes and transcripts won't be released publicly because former Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora faces another trial in October.

The materials had been requested by media outlets, and defense attorneys opposed. The judge says releasing them now might prejudice the jury in Dimora's second corruption trial. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

The former county Democratic chairman in Cleveland is scheduled to be sentenced July 25 for steering jobs and contracts in return for bribes.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/GQh9Eg) says the government didn't take a position on the release of the materials.

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