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Suit filed over corruption charge



Published: Wed, July 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A Youngstown man filed a $350,000 lawsuit against Trumbull County Children Services and the Trumbull County commissioners, saying he was wrongly accused of a crime. Leon Bell and his wife, Donna, of East Avondale, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. A hearing date has not been set. The suit also lists two unnamed defendants. Robert Kubiak of children services and Commissioner Michael J. O'Brien both declined to comment on the suit.

Indictment: Bell says in the suit that on July 17, 2000, the Trumbull County grand jury secretly indicted him on a charge of corruption of a minor. The suit contends that Bell was innocent and did not have any knowledge of the individuals who accused him. The suit also states that none of the defendants contacted him to ask him about the allegations.

"The actions of the Trumbull County grand jury resulting in the indictment were the direct and proximate result of the misinformation provided by representatives and employees of the Trumbull County Children Services after conducting an investigation regarding the allegations" allegedly against Bell, the suit states.

Bell was not "the proper person to be the subject of this investigation, and neither his physical description or vital statistics matched the person for whom these allegations should have been properly directed," the suit states.

The suit further notes that the prosecutor's office dismissed the charge.

Sarah Kovoor, the prosecutor who was assigned to the case, could not be reached to comment.

The suit further notes that because of the indictment, Bell was arrested and held in the county jail. Bell also had to incur the cost of bond and legal representation, the suit states.




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