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Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo released from prison amid pandemic

Posted at 10:26 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 00:00:38-04

CLEVELAND — Frank Russo, the former Cuyahoga County auditor who was caught in a corruption probe in 2010, was released from federal prison after being deemed susceptible to COVID-19, according to his attorney Roger Synenberg.

Russo’s attorney said the prison was looking to release those most susceptible to COVID-19 and Russo “fit the requirements.”

While he was released from prison, Russo is not free. He is on home confinement with a GPS monitor, Synenberg said.

Russo was sentenced in December 2010 to spend 21 years and eight months in prison after taking a plea deal. Russo agreed to charges for "knowingly and willfully" ripping off taxpayers.

Russo was convicted of conspiracy, conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion.

Before heading to prison in November 2012, he testified against Jimmy Dimora, a former Cuyahoga County commissioner who is also behind bars, following the largest corruption probe in county history.

Dimora is on a list of 837 inmates at Ohio’s only federal prison, Elkton Federal Correctional, who are eligible for a release or a transfer due to COVID-19 concerns.

Russo’s attorney said they aren’t sure at this time if he will have to return to prison.

“He is home for now, and we are happy to have him home," Synenberg said.

Last February, Russo's sentence was reduced by eight years after prosecutors and defense attorneys urged a sentence reduction because of his substantial cooperation.

RELATED: Sentence for disgraced former auditor Frank Russo reduced by 8 years

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