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YOUNGSTOWN Bondsman pleads guilty to charges for bribing judge



Published: Thu, August 9, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Campbell man went from facing three felonies to one misdemeanor count.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A retired bail bondsman who authorities say bribed a former municipal court judge pleaded guilty this morning in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Louis A. Buccilli, 81, of Martha Avenue, Campbell, pleaded to a misdemeanor count of obstructing official business. Visiting Judge Robert B. Ford sentenced him to 90 days in the county jail, but suspended it, and placed him on probation for a year.

Because of his age, prosecutors never intended to put Buccilli in prison, said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Maillis.

Buccilli, who was in the bonding business for 34 years, was indicted a year ago by a county grand jury on charges of bribery, conspiracy and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Five months ago, Judge Ford dismissed all but the bribery charge, which contends that Buccilli bribed former Judge Andrew Polovischak, who is serving a 30-month sentence in a federal prison camp in Florida.

The other two counts were defective in the way they were written because they did not give specific details about the alleged crimes, the judge said.

Admitted bribes: When Polovischak pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, he admitted taking bribes from Buccilli and several local lawyers, including Jack Campbell of Canfield.

Maillis said Buccilli has admitted to twice delivering money to Polovischak from Campbell, though he claimed to not know it was bribe money.

Campbell was sentenced earlier this year to 16 months of electronically monitored house arrest after pleading guilty to conspiracy to fix cases.

bjackson@vindy.com




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