The delay will allow Goldberg to finish a drug program.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The trial of disbarred attorney Richard Goldberg has been pushed back to February 2003, allowing Goldberg to complete a drug rehabilitation program.
Visiting Judge Stephen A. Yarbrough made the ruling Tuesday.
The former medical malpractice attorney faces multiple counts of forgery, theft and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. His trial was scheduled for September, but defense attorneys asked that it be postponed.
Goldberg is already serving time at a federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va., for defrauding some of his former clients out of millions of dollars they should have received in lawsuit settlements.
The state charges, filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, are based on the same type of activity.
Goldberg is participating in a drug rehabilitation program at the federal prison and isn't scheduled to complete it until October. If he stopped for a trial in September, he'd be kicked out and have to start all over again, according to his Columbus lawyers.
The trial date will become a moot point if Judge Yarbrough approves a request from Goldberg's attorneys to dismiss the state charges.
They've argued that the statute of limitations had expired on some counts, and that county Prosecutor Paul Gains had promised he would not seek a state indictment in addition to the federal charges.
Gains said he did make that promise but only on the condition that Goldberg fully cooperate with federal authorities. He said Goldberg breached the deal by withholding information about certain victims during the federal investigation.
A hearing was in February on the motion to dismiss, but a ruling has not been made.