PURCHASING PROBE Contractor indicted on 3 charges



At issue is a floor scrubber purchased by the county for $7,000.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A contractor who scrubbed the floors of numerous county buildings was in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court this morning after being secretly indicted by a grand jury probing the county's maintenance department.
The grand jury secretly indicted Daniel Donofrio on Friday on two counts of grand theft and one count of complicity to commit grand theft. Donofrio, 39, of Brookfield, pleaded innocent, and his bond was set at $5,000.
He and his attorney, Damian A. Billak, were in the courtroom of Judge W. Wyatt McKay. Donofrio, Billak and county prosecutors declined to comment.
Donofrio had been subpoened to testify in front of the grand jury in March. Because grand jury proceedings are secret, it is not known what Donofrio was asked or if he answered any questions.
Letter
In December, prosecutors wrote a letter to commissioners asking for help in locating a floor scrubber that was purchased from Donofrio for $7,000 but could not be located.
The letter, written by James Misocky, an assistant Trumbull prosecutor, stated the county maintenance department bought the scrubber in 1999 from Donofrio. Donofrio, whose company operated out of a post office box and has no business phone, was not in the business of selling equipment, the letter said.
The letter further stated that Donofrio bought the floor scrubber from Nannicola Inc., a bingo and party supply company, for $5,700, investigators from the state auditor's office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation found.
Representatives of Nannicola stated to BCI agents that Nannicola does not sell floor scrubbers, and it specially ordered the scrubber, which was described as a 'scratch and dent' model, from a third party, the letter says.
Donofrio was paid $1,250 to order an item he didn't sell and bought the equipment from a company that does not normally sell scrubbers, Misocky's letter further stated.
Frank Nannicola, however, told The Vindicator that his company, located on Youngstown-Warren Road, sells a wide variety of items -- including motorized equipment.
The floor scrubber was used by Donofrio, whose company has billed the county for $113,000 since 2000, to clean floors in the family court detention center.
In an affidavit, maintenance department worker William Hart told prosecutors that he called Donofrio in December while trying to locate the machine.
Hart said Donofrio said he took the floor scrubber to be repaired at a Youngstown shop two years ago. Donofrio said he didn't know where the scrubber was, and that the repair shop owner had died, Hart said in his affidavit.
Lid-Chem
The special Trumbull County grand jury investigating county maintenance department purchases also indicted the owners of a company that sold supplies to the county. On Friday, an indictment for grand theft was issued for Linda and Terry G. Maiorana and a similar indictment was also issued for their company, Lid-Chem Inc.
The Maioranas, of Canfield, could not be reached, could their attorney, J. Gerald Ingram.
According to the indictment, Lid-Chem purchased another floor scrubber from Donofrio's company, Central Service Supply for $5,000 on June 1, 2000. Lid-Chem then sold the scrubber for $6,824 to the county. The scrubber cannot be located, the indicment states.
The Maioranas, who are free on bond after pleading innocent in December to charges of bribery, money laundering and theft, are expected to appear in court later this week to face the new charge.
Delmont
Prosecutors say Tony Delmont, as the county's maintenance director, spent more on cleaning supplies than necessary in exchange for bribes from vendors. He has pleaded guilty to bribery, money laundering and theft-in-office charges. In a hearing last year before Delmont's termination by the county, prosecutors said he had stolen about $400,000 from the county since 1998.
In an affidavit filed with the court, Delmont said that he was ordered by county commissioners and the county sheriff to take part in the maintenance supply scheme and that he passed on much of his proceeds to higher-ups. Commissioners and Sheriff Tom Altiere have denied those allegations.
Barry Jacobson of Envirochemical Inc. in Bedford Heights said in a sworn statement that Delmont said some of the bribes would be distributed to other county officials. No other county officials have been charged. Jacobson pleaded guilty to bribing Delmont and helping him steal taxpayer funds.
Sentencing for both Delmont and Jacobson has been postponed until the investigation is complete. The county prosecutor's office and state investigators began probing the maintenance department purchases shortly after The Vindicator began running a series of articles showing excessive purchases of janitorial supplies.
sinkovich@vindy.com

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