WARREN FBI issues subpoena to city leaders
The city law director says he doesn't know why the FBI is seeking the information about Ohio Edison.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
and DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- City hall officials have been issued a federal subpoena asking them to produce all contract and lease information dealing with Ohio Edison to federal authorities.
Mayor Hank Angelo said he received the federal subpoena from city police Detective Jeff Hoolihan Thursday morning. Hoolihan is the officer assigned to work with the FBI. The subpoena states the information must be brought to a federal grand jury in Cleveland Sept. 24.
City officials, however, said they also have the option of giving the information to the FBI before the date of the grand jury.
"The subpoena is pretty much all-encompassing," said Greg Hicks, city law director. "Any paper we have with Ohio Edison's name on it, they want -- that's pretty much it."
Hicks added that he "has no clue" why federal authorities want the information.
"They don't tell us why they want it; they just tell us that they want it," Hicks said.
Angelo said he is trying to reach John Kane, agent in charge of the Youngstown FBI office, to get a clarification on one of the documents being requested.
"By the way this subpoena is worded, it would mean that they would want all the electric bills, which constitute two to three inches of paperwork a month over an eight-year period," Angelo said. "But if it that's what they want, we will comply."
A federal grand jury convened in May and began hearing testimony concerning, among other things, construction of a clubhouse at Avalon South Golf Course, officials said.
Tony Joy, operator of the golf course, says he has not received a subpoena.
Atty. Maridee Costanzo, who represents Joy, says she expects her client will testify in front of the grand jury in October.
Costanzo also said the FBI is looking into how Joy received about $3,000 in discounted electricity in 1999 in exchange for numerous golf clubs that went to Dave Robison, a city building official. Robison has declined to comment.
Ohio Edison officials confirmed in July that Greg Petrasek, former Warren area manager for Ohio Edison, resigned in the wake of accusations that he traded discounted electricity for golf clubs. The utility company has since billed Joy for the service.
Costanzo said her client is not going to pay the money to Ohio Edison. Costanzo contends that Ohio Edison has already received the money from Petrasek.
Ralph DiNicola, director of public relations for Ohio Edison, said it's the company's policy to seek compensation from the customer that used the electricity. DiNicola declined to say if the company docked Petrasek's pay.
Costanzo said her client is cooperating with investigators.