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JUVENILE JUSTICE CENTER Commissioners ask for restored phone services



Published: Wed, August 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Commissioners pointed out to the judge that they are the contracting authority.

By ROGER G. SMITH

CITY HALL REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners are letting the juvenile court judge know who's boss -- at least of the telephone.

Commissioners are requesting that Judge Theresa A. Dellick, the juvenile court judge, let technicians reconnect phone and voice mail service for two county assistant prosecutors with office space in the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center.

Commissioners were awaiting word late Tuesday afternoon on whether the judge would comply with the request.

Judge Dellick had phone service cut last week. Her move came a couple days after a deadline she set for the prosecutor's office to vacate its JJC space. The judge has said the space is needed for a day-reporting program for juveniles.

Judge Dellick wouldn't let technicians into the prosecutor's offices when they were called to restore service, said Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains.

Gains said his people aren't vacating the space unless ordered by a higher court. He argues his prosecutors need offices at the juvenile center.

He has equipped his prosecutors with cell phones at taxpayer expense, so they can continue conducting business from the JJC.

Letter to judge

Commissioners pointed out in a letter to Judge Dellick on Monday that they have a contract with TeleSolutions Inc. and have authority over at least the telephone issue.

"As the contracting authority, we are asking that you not interfere with TeleSolutions Inc.'s obligation to perform under their contract," the letter says.

Commissioners won't try to dictate how Judge Dellick handles her operations, but they have authority over what goes on -- or doesn't -- inside the building, said Commissioner John McNally IV. By law, county commissioners provide facilities for courts.

Commissioners expect to talk soon with Gains about what to do next, McNally said.

Neither the juvenile court's administrator nor the lawyer representing Judge Dellick in the office space dispute, John B. Juhasz, has returned calls to comment.

rgsmith@vindy.com




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