Ohio contractor pleads not guilty in bribery probe

THOMAS J. SHEERAN Associated Press Published:

Eds: APNewsNow. Updates with Forlani not guilty plea. Will be updated.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- An electric contractor has pleaded not guilty in an Ohio public corruption investigation that has led to additional charges against a former county commissioner in Cleveland.

Michael Forlani entered the plea Friday in federal court in Cleveland to 18 counts including racketeering, conspiracy and bribery. A judge magistrate agreed to release him on bond.

He was charged in an indictment that included new corruption charges against former Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Forlani allegedly bribed Dimora and others with gifts, meals, money and free home improvements in return for help landing contracting work on public projects.

There was no immediate comment from Dimora on the latest indictment. A message was left for his attorney.

Dimora pleaded not guilty to the earlier bribery indictment and faces a January trial.

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