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YOUNGSTOWN Ohio Supreme Court dismisses Lordi's appeal



Published: Thu, May 24, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former commissioner said the case has been a mental, physical and financial strain.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A defeat for Frank Lordi on Wednesday in the Ohio Supreme Court has left the judge in Lordi's theft-in-office case with three options, according to an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor.

The judge could hold a hearing to decide whether Lordi should serve an 18-month prison sentence, sign an entry ordering deputies to seize Lordi and take him to prison to start the sentence, or order lawyers to work out a deal for Lordi to surrender and go to prison on his own.

"It doesn't really matter, but obviously the time has come for him to go serve his time," said Janice T. O'Halloran, assistant prosecutor.

1999 conviction: Lordi, 54, of Canfield Township, was convicted in 1999 by a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court jury and sentenced to prison by visiting Judge Mark K. Wiest. The jury also convicted Lordi of conflict of interest and unlawful interest in a public contract.

Lordi appealed to the 7th District Court of Appeals, which ruled against him last year. He then asked the high court to hear his case, but it declined to do so Wednesday.

"I'm drained mentally, physically and financially," said Lordi, who still maintains he is innocent.

The former Mahoning County commissioner said his lawyers are looking into other legal options, though he was not sure what they might be.

Judge Wiest held a hearing in January, after the appellate court's ruling, and ordered that Lordi begin serving the prison term. Before he could be taken away, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that he be allowed to remain free while it decided whether to hear his appeal.

Now that the high court has dismissed Lordi's case, O'Halloran said she'll ask that Judge Wiest order him to begin the sentence.

bjackson@vindy.com




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