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MAHONING COUNTY Prosecutor to hear election-fraud allegations



Published: Wed, May 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The Mahoning County Board of Elections authorized its director today to discuss with the county prosecutor the prosecution of two candidates and a former candidate whom the sheriff's office determined do not live at the addresses listed on their candidate forms.

The sheriff's department investigated questionable addresses of 10 candidates and determined three were false, according to a report filed with the elections board by Maj. Michael Budd of the sheriff's department.

Election fraud is considered a felony and those convicted of it could receive up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The three potential election fraud cases involve:

U Michael Prozy, a Republicans for Real Reform candidate for Canfield city Precinct 2 Republican committeeman who listed his address as 442 Carriage Hill Drive, his parents' home. Prozy, 22, told sheriff's deputies that he has not lived on Carriage Hill Drive in three years, and that he lives at 431 Mathews Road in Boardman.

Prozy told deputies that Mark Hanni, founder of the Real Reform movement, questioned him about his address after questions were raised and Hanni told him if there was an inquiry into his residency that he should say he lives on Carriage Hill Drive.

Response

Hanni said today that Prozy told him he considers his parents' home to be his legal place of residence, but because of questions raised, he urged Prozy to withdraw as a candidate, which Prozy did. Hanni also said he never told Prozy to tell anyone that he lives on Carriage Hill.

U James Roman, a Real Reform candidate for Austintown Precinct 11 Republican committeeman who listed 104 S. Navarre Drive as his residence. An investigation by the sheriff's office determined Roman doesn't live there. Also, the sheriff's department has been unable to find Roman, who remains a candidate.

According to a sheriff's department report, Hanni told deputies, Roman "said that's his address. If it's not, there's nothing I can do." Reached today, Hanni said he could not recall meeting Roman because he recruited so many Republican committee candidates.

U T. Elliot Hough, a Republican write-in candidate for the 7th District Court of Appeals seat held by Cheryl Waite. Hough listed incorrect addresses for himself on West Calla Road and Fairpark Road in Canfield, Budd said. His current address on file with the elections board is a post office box. Hough remains a write-in candidate.

Hanni said he has questions about the legitimacy of some Republican committee candidates, but his requests that they be investigated have gone ignored.

Hanni's organization and the established Republican Party, which supports the re-election of Chairman Clarence Smith, each has candidates in most of the 312 GOP precinct committee races. The election is Tuesday. Obtaining a majority of precinct committee members is vital to Hanni and Smith because the precinct winners will vote for party chairman. The Real Reform group is considering a number of chairman candidates.

skolnick@vindy.com




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