The sheriff and a major are accused of malicious prosecution.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A Mahoning County deputy sheriff arrested after being accused of passing a bad check last year says he was set up and is taking the county to court.
John Martynyszyn, 49, of Whispering Pines Drive, Canfield, is a corporal in the sheriff's department. He filed a lawsuit Friday afternoon in common pleas court seeking unspecified damages from the county, Sheriff Randall Wellington and Maj. Michael Budd of the sheriff's department.
The suit accuses Wellington and Budd of false arrest, malicious prosecution and violating Martynyszyn's civil rights.
Arrest: It stems from Martynyszyn's arrest by Budd Aug. 11, 2000. The charge was dismissed two weeks later by Judge Robert A. Douglas Jr. of Youngstown Municipal Court.
The suit says Budd filed the charge out of "malice, hatred and ill will" toward Martynyszyn. Atty. John B. Juhasz, one of three attorneys representing Martynyszyn, declined to elaborate.
The other lawyers are James Gentile and Gary Van Brocklin.
Budd and Wellington said they had not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
Juhasz said Martynyszyn was placed on administrative leave from the department while the charge was pending last year, but was reinstated immediately after it was dismissed and is still working at the department.
What happened: Martynyszyn, a 15-year department veteran, also operates a small concrete construction business, according to court documents. In April 2000, he received $1,500 from a Rutledge Drive woman to put in a concrete slab at her home and never completed the work.
Court records indicated that the woman is the mother of another deputy sheriff.
When the woman contacted Martynyszyn in June 2000, he gave her back $700 cash. A few days later, the woman complained to the department's internal affairs division, which questioned Martynyszyn.
Check: According to the lawsuit, Martynyszyn gave Budd a check for $550, dated July 5, 2000. Martynyszyn asked Budd to wait until July 7 to deliver the check to the woman because he planned to make a deposit into the account in the meantime to ensure there were sufficient funds to cover it.
Instead, Budd delivered the check July 5, and it bounced when the woman tried to deposit it. Juhasz said the money was in the account July 7, just as Martynyszyn said it would be.
Juhasz said he and the other lawyers believe Budd intentionally delivered the check early, knowing it would bounce, though he again declined to elaborate.