County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora went off on county Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost at the end of Thursday’s regular meeting.

Dimora, who stepped aside as Dem party chairman on Tuesday in favor of behind-closed-doors-lever-pulling, said his attorney finally was cool with him going head-to-head in a public setting with Frost, as well as Parma Heights Mayor Martin Zanotti — the two leaders of the county reform movement that’s using Dimora’s central role in the federal corruption probe as evidence of the need for a new system even more responsive to the region’s business elite.

In his tirade Dimora slammed Zanotti, who sat in the front row, for traveling to Vegas on his own junkets with key Republicans and J. Kevin Kelley, the alleged bag man in the most recent federal indictments. Zanotti didn’t dispute it. He didn’t even make a face like he disputed it.

Dimora left out few of his Republican enemies, even alluding to collusion among ex-state Republican chairman (and ex-county elections board chairman) Bob Bennett and Plain Dealer editor Susan Goldberg and her former editorial page editor, who he saw lunching together last year and assumed they were plotting against him. (Paranoid much?) Then he slammed Bennett’s decision to champion the purchase of $30 million worth of Diebold voting machines, which still sit in a Lorain County warehouse. The county could try to recoup the loss, he said, if it weren’t for Bennett arranging for documents associated with the deal to disappear. Dimora asked: And who’s boss was Bennett, Mr. Frost, with your $110,000 paycheck?

"I know my family and myself have been living through hell for the past year,” Dimora told Frost. “And I don’t wish that on my worst enemy. And I guess that would be you.” — Dan Harkins

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