Plumbers Local 55 now being investigated - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Corruption: Feds digging deeper into Plumbers Local 55

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - 19 Action News has learned the Feds want to go back decades investigating at least one agency.

The revelations are in a subpoena, delivered two days before Christmas, to Plumbers Local 55, the union Robert Rybak headed until he was indicted. A guy who admits he bribed Jimmy Dimora.

On the day Jimmy Dimora was arrested by the FBI, riding in one of the other cars, under arrest and in cuffs was Robert Rybak. He gave Dimora free plumbing and an ice maker later hauled out of Dimora's home by the FBI in return for his wife and two union members getting county jobs. Now a new subpoena for his union.

When we arrived at Local 55, workers bolted toward the back room before we even hit the door.

A subpoena being served at Local 55 is nothing new but what is new is the time frame. This one demands records dating back to 1956. The Feds wouldn't look back that far unless someone inside, with detailed knowledge, was an informant.

In a plea deal Rybak agreed to testify for the Feds, is he the eyes and ears that can lead the investigation to the 50's when even Jimmy Dimora was a baby. The implications for others could be staggering. Specifically the subpoena wants to know about PAC contributions and something called the Friends at Christmas Fund.

In the past a member of the local's finance committee has said that giving away bottles of liquor to contractors and public officials, is a longstanding union tradition, especially at Christmas. Not sure if that's the friends account but am sure the feds want to know more.

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