TRUMBULL COUNTY Judge OKs hearing for Fiorenzo
An expungement would seal the former county engineer's criminal record.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A hearing is scheduled for March 7 to determine if a former Trumbull County engineer convicted of several charges will get his record expunged.
Visiting Judge Mark Weist of Wayne County ordered the hearing Tuesday and instructed the Trumbull County Adult Probation Department to perform a background check on James Fiorenzo.
The background check will be used by the judge to determine if Fiorenzo has had any criminal problems since his conviction, officials said.
Weist presided over Fiorenzo's criminal trial in 1994.
Fiorenzo filed a motion for expungement last month.
Expungements are sometimes granted to first-time offenders. An expungement would seal Fiorenzo's court records, and they would no longer be public.
Conviction: Fiorenzo was convicted Nov. 8, 1994, of theft in office, complicity to theft in office and four counts of forgery for stealing county money through a remodeling project at his office.
He was found guilty of trying to get the county to pay for work not done and materials not delivered.
He was sentenced to three years in prison and was released in July 1997.
Prosecutor: County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins said that Portage County Prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci, or one of Vigluicci's assistants, would be appointed to handle the expungement case.
As part of a reciprocal agreement in which neither county will have to spend money, Trumbull prosecutors will handle cases in Portage County when needed, Watkins said.
Jonathan Rosenbaum of Lorain was special prosecutor for Fiorenzo's trial. Watkins said Rosenbaum is now in private practice and no longer available.
Bills: The sheriff's department began investigating Fiorenzo after county commissioners and Edward Bush, then county auditor, refused to pay bills submitted by three contractors for work done at Fiorenzo's office when he was county engineer.
The bills totaled $25,183. State law says projects should be competitively bid when they exceed $10,000.