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Officeholders can be asked by a board of elections to clarify certain uses of campaign



Published: Sun, November 4, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Officeholders can be asked by a board of elections to clarify certain uses of campaign contributions. Here are details of some expenditures by candidates in Trumbull County in recent years, as contained in board documents, with the candidates' explanations, when provided, in parentheses:

MICHAEL O'BRIEN

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

U $50 to the Trumbull County Beagle Club in April 2000. (A donation to the organization to generate good will to further his candidacy.)

U $75 to the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, $20 to Mahoning Valley Baseball, $20 to the NAACP and $130 to Comments and Solutions. (The contributions were to attend dinners and generate good will to further his candidacy.)

U $300 -- in 1999, campaign funds were used for tickets to five raffles, most associated with churches. Raffles and other games of chance are not permissible campaign expenses, according to the board of elections.

U Checks to three individuals in 1999 totaling $548. (To reimburse them for supplies they bought for fund-raisers.)

U Other dinner bills for which the board requested clarification in 1999 include $100 for the National Italian American Scholarship Fund, $60 for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, $25 for Leadership Mahoning Valley, $100 for Disabled American Veterans, $50 for the Wolves Club, $40 for the Notre Dame Catholic School, $15 for the Trumbull County Educational Service Center Annual Dinner and $30 for the Warren Area Board of Realtors. (Donations to help generate good will to further candidacy.)

JOSEPH J. ANGELO JR.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

U $296 expenditure at Warren Beverage in December 1999. (For gifts and bottle of wine for campaign helpers and for door prizes at local functions.)

U $71 purchase at Galaxy Seafood in December 1999. (For a present to three campaign workers.)

U $175 worth of cigars at about the same time. (Cigars banded with his name and distributed as promotional items.)U* $200 payment to Trumbull County for telephone usage in 1999. (Reimbursement for calls related to his campaign.)

U $47 tuxedo rental so he could be a celebrity waiter at the Junior Women's League annual charity event in 1999.

U $300 spent at three dinner-raffles in 2000. Angelo was warned several months by the board before the 2000 reports were due that raffles and other games of chance are not acceptable campaign expenditures. ("I understand that raffles are not permissible, but some monetary value has to be placed on my refreshments. For each one of the dinners, I will set that amount at $50.")

U $100 payment to the Ursuline Sisters and a $115 payment to the Italian Sports Hall of Fame. (Raffles he attended where he campaigned in 2000.)

U $35 dues at the Italian Sports Hall of Fame, $20 for a dinner with the National Wild Turkey Federation. (Contended he had supporters at both places.)

U $400 sponsorship of a girls softball team, Angelo's ALLSTARS. (Advertising expense.)

U $54 expense for flowers in 2000. (Funeral of a campaign worker who died.)

U $175 to his wife and $20 to his brother, Warren Mayor Hank Angelo. (Money to his wife to buy supplies or groceries for his campaign headquarters; donation to his brother.)

U $2,225 in under-$25 donations at an event in June 2000, $2,825 in under-$25 donations at an event in November 2000, and $125 at an event in November 1999.

JAMES G. TSAGARIS

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

U $390 "gift" to Tsagaris on Dec. 19, 1999. The same year, the campaign also gave a $258 "gift" to Patty Tsagaris, the candidate's wife.

U $141 on "gifts" at Nanicola Inc. in Warren in 1999.

U $49 bill from Gorant Candies, $260 worth of food and drink at Stetson's in Warren, $100 at a Mahoning Valley Scrappers game, $200 at Pat's in Warren, and $20 for a testimonial dinner.

U $371 on flowers and $75 on chocolates in 2000.

U $164 bill at Alberini's Restaurant in 2000.

U In February 2001, Tsagaris was told by the board of elections that the $870 purchase of pictures to decorate his office in the county administrative building is an acceptable use of campaign funds, but that the pictures must remain the property of the county when he leaves.

There is no record at the Trumbull County Board of Elections of Tsagaris' replying to questions about any of the expenditures it deemed questionable.

Tsagaris' campaign reported no money in under-$25 donations in 2000. In 1999, it collected $225 in small donations.

DAVID A. HINES

COUNTY AUDITOR

The board of elections did not question any expenditures by Hines' campaign in 1999 or 2000.

The campaign reported that all the money it received in 2000 -- $4,100 -- was from under-$25 donations.

In 1999, the campaign reported that it received one $250 check from the Realtors Political Action Committee of Columbus and the rest of its funds, $3,625, in unidentified donations.

CHRIST MICHELAKIS

COUNTY TREASURER

U $360 for an appreciation dinner at Vernon's Cafe in December 1999. (Dinner for campaign workers.)

U $392 to Premium Meats Inc. in December 1999. (Food was given as gifts.)

U $100 to the Order of Ahepa Zeus 88, $45 to Howland Tigers Boosters Club, $50 to the Ron Yannucci Memorial Charity Open, $36 to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, $40 to a testimonial dinner for Judge Lynn B. Griffith and $25 for an appreciation dinner for Darby Vaughn, all in 1999.

In 2000 the campaign reported that it received $1,435 in under-$25 donations.

RALPH INFANTE

NILES MAYOR

The board of elections told Infante on April 28, 1999, that he had to return a $360 contribution from the union at RMI. On May 11, 1999, Infante wrote a check to RMI Local 2155. Elections officials said candidates can accept money from union-sponsored political action committees, but not directly from a union.

DENNIS WATKINS

COUNTY PROSECUTOR

U $110 for "miscellaneous merchandise" from Kohl's Department Store in December 1999. (Christmas gifts for prosecutor's office employees.)

U $62.91 to Dillard's. (Christmas gift for office manager.)

UThe elections board asked him to provide the reason for the following expenditures and relationship to his office:

$80.86 for flowers for Atty. Charles Richards and flowers for Judge Thomas Swift. (Sympathy gifts.)

$20 for a ticket to a testimonial dinner for Judge Lynn B. Griffith Jr. (Expenses were incurred in connection with duties as prosecutor and "in furtherance of my candidacy for re-election as prosecutor. Also it was incurred through my participation in nonpartisan or bipartisan events where prosecuting attorney would normally be expected.")

HANK ANGELO

WARREN MAYOR

U $607 to Enzo's Restaurant. (Breakfast May 19, 1999, for precinct committee people.)

U* $100 to sponsor a golf hole at a fund-raiser for state Sen. Tim Ryan.

U $100 to sponsor a golf hole at Leadership Today outing.

U $200 to Harding High School golf team

U $200 for T-shirts for the Eastside Girls Softball League.

U $100 donation for the John F. Kennedy football team.




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