Lawyer seeks to postpone because another trial has been pending since 1999.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Clients of Youngstown attorney Martin F. Yavorcik have trials bumping into each other next month and he says the federal inmate-abuse case has to give way.
Yavorcik filed a motion Friday in Cleveland federal court asking U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells to postpone the trial of ex-Maj. Michael Budd, the one-time Mahoning County Sheriff's Department supervisor charged with inmate abuse. Yavorcik already received one postponement for Budd's trial, which had been set for Dec. 20, 2004 and then rescheduled to Feb. 14.
Yavorcik said in his motion that he will be involved in a jury trial that will begin Feb. 7 in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and last roughly three weeks. He said the case is against Richard Goldberg, a disbarred medical malpractice attorney, and has been pending since 1999.
Yavorcik said in his motion that, initially, he believed the Goldberg trial would be postponed or resolved through a plea agreement. His motion to continue that trial was denied and no plea agreement was reached.
Steven M. Dettelbach, an assistant U.S. attorney, filed a response Friday to Yavorcik's motion. The federal prosecutor opposes rescheduling Budd's Feb. 14 trial.
"There's nothing I can do, and I know my guy [Budd] wants to go to trial as soon as possible," Yavorcik said Friday evening. "I'll be ready in March but I can't prepare for Mike Budd's trial while I'm in another trial."
A grand jury indicted Budd on May 8, 2004. He is charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights and obstruction of justice and three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.
He is accused of ordering the beating of one inmate and beating or ordering the beating of two others.
The case also involves three current and four former corrections officers, three of whom have pleaded guilty. Trial for the remaining four, all of whom are on paid leave, is set for Feb. 22 in Cleveland federal court.
Budd, once indicted, was demoted to deputy and placed on paid leave. The 43-year-old Boardman man has been with the sheriff's department since 1991.
Theft, corruption case
Goldberg, 59, of Liberty, meanwhile, faces theft, engaging a pattern of corrupt activity and forgery charges in common pleas court. The case mirrors charges he pleaded guilty to in federal court.
Last month, Goldberg's lawyers won his release from the Mahoning County jail, based on a federal magistrate's recommendation to U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus that he vacate Goldberg's county jail sentence.
The lawyers said Goldberg should be released on bail until the judge decides whether to accept the recommendation. They said he should be immediately freed from the "unlawful sentences imposed by probate Judge Timothy P. Maloney."
Goldberg bilked clients of roughly $4.5 million and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison. He was released in October 2003.
Once released, Goldberg was transferred to the county jail to serve 21 months imposed by Judge Maloney. The judge concluded that Goldberg concealed $1.2 million that should have been paid to four clients.
Yavorcik has said the 21 months Judge Maloney imposed in May 2000 on misdemeanor contempt convictions should have been served concurrent with Goldberg's federal time.