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TRUMBULL COUNTY Ex-engineer who stole county funds wants court to give him a clean slate



Published: Sat, January 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The county prosecutor filed a motion asking that a special prosecutor be appointed to handle the expungement hearing.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- James Fiorenzo, former Trumbull County engineer convicted of several charges including theft in office, wants his criminal record to be erased.

Fiorenzo filed a motion in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court asking a judge to expunge his conviction. A hearing date has not been set.

Expungements are sometimes granted to first-time offenders. An expungement would seal Fiorenzo's court records and they would no longer be public.

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.

Another motion: County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has filed a motion asking that a special prosecutor be appointed to handle Fiorenzo's expungement hearing.

Watkins noted in the motion that special prosecutor Jonathan Rosenbaum of Lorain, who prosecuted the case, is no longer available. Rosenbaum is now in private practice.

Watkins is asking that Portage County Prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci, or one of Vigluicci's assistants, be appointed to the case. Watkins noted that he has a reciprocal agreement with Portage County so that no money will have to be spent.

As part of the reciprocal agreement, Trumbull prosecutors will handle cases in Portage County when a special prosecutor is needed, Watkins said.

How probe began: The Trumbull County Sheriff's Department began investigating Fiorenzo after the county commissioners and Edward Bush, then county auditor, refused to pay bills submitted by three contractors for work done at Fiorenzo's office.

The bills for work at Fiorenzo's office totaled $25,183. State law says projects should be competitively bid when they exceed $10,000.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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