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MAHONING VALLEY Goldbergs sue judge, cops



Published: Wed, June 27, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The wife and children of the former attorney filed the suit.

AKRON -- Dorothy Goldberg, on behalf of herself and her two minor daughters, along with four adult children, have filed suit against Judge Timothy P. Maloney and 16 others, mostly police officers, alleging they conducted an unlawful search and seizure of their personal property.

The suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.

Goldberg is the wife of lawyer Richard Goldberg, who is serving 41 months in federal prison for defrauding his former clients out of millions of dollars that were used to finance a lavish lifestyle.

What happened: The search and seizure occurred Sunday at the Goldberg family home in Liberty and at Goldberg's warehouse in Girard and a warehouse in Youngstown used by the children.

According to court documents, officers spent four hours searching, videotaping and inventorying all contents of the house, seizing four area rugs, watches, cameras, a computer and diskettes.

Officers then searched, videotaped and inventoried the contents of the Goldbergs' warehouse in Girard and the children's building on South Phelps Street, Youngstown, seizing all documents, files and records, including personal medical, financial and other confidential records.

The suit alleges the officers also changed the locks on both buildings to prevent the Goldberg family access to its own commercial buildings and property housed there.

Details: According to court documents, Mahoning County deputies also seized documents, files and records, including the plaintiffs' personal financial and tax records, worksheets and returns, from the office of Robert Elias, a certified public accountant.

The searches and seizures occurred, along with a review, analysis and forensic accounting of the seized documentation, "despite the intervening stays of further execution of the search and seize order entered by the 7th District Court of Appeals in Mahoning County," court documents state. Further, the suit alleges that Judge Maloney unlawfully ordered, published and circulated these reports to third parties. Judge Maloney presides over Mahoning County Probate Court.

"At all times relevant," the suit states, "Judge Maloney knew or should have known that he was violating plaintiffs' substantive civil rights but nevertheless acted willfully, wantonly and in reckless disregard of those rights."

As a result, the plaintiffs claim that they were "deprived of their property without due process" and that they were deprived of their rights to be secure in their homes, papers and effects. As a result, they said that they were humiliated, emotionally distressed and physically upset. They are demanding compensatory damages of $7,010,000 jointly against the defendants and $14 million in punitive damages against Judge Maloney.




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