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GOLDBERG CASE Judge asks court to reconsider



Published: Wed, September 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The judge changed his mind after reading the high court's decision.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- After first saying he would accept an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that went against him two weeks ago, Judge Timothy P. Maloney has had a change of heart.

Judge Maloney, of Mahoning County Probate Court, has asked the high court to reconsider its Sept. 5 decision that said he was out of line to order a search and seizure of suspended lawyer Richard Goldberg's property last year.

The decision affirmed a similar ruling handed down in November 2000 by the 7th District Court of Appeals.

When Judge Maloney learned of the Supreme Court's decision, he said it was the end of the road and he would not appeal further. He had not read the decision himself, though.

Once he received a copy of the ruling and reviewed it, he discovered what he believes are deficiencies in the majority opinion and decided to challenge it.

He would not elaborate on the reasons for the challenge because the matter is now pending before the supreme court.

Representation: The judge hired a private law firm out of Cincinnati to represent him for the challenge. The county prosecutor's office had represented him in earlier proceedings but declined to do so for the appeal.

Neither Judge Maloney nor Prosecutor Paul Gains would say why the prosecutor's office stepped aside. Each said the reasons were confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege.

"The reasons are valid. That's all I can say," Gains said.

The story: Goldberg is a former medical malpractice attorney serving a federal prison sentence for keeping millions of dollars that should have gone to clients from lawsuit settlements.

More than a year ago, Judge Maloney ordered authorities in Mahoning and Trumbull counties to search Goldberg's home in Liberty Township, his office in Canfield and at least two storage buildings.

They were looking for items that could have been purchased with the ill-gotten money, which were to be liquidated and the proceeds used to satisfy Goldberg's victims.

Goldberg's family appealed to the court of appeals, which ruled that the probate court had authority to authorize the search but that the way it was done violated the family's civil rights. That's when the judge appealed to the Supreme Court.

The appellate court ruled that since Judge Maloney initiated the action, he should have filed an affidavit with another judge and sought independent approval.

It also said that he failed to provide a bond or other security to compensate the family in the event the procedure was overturned and that it was illegal for deputies to search the Goldbergs' occupied home against the family's will.

bjackson@vindy.com




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