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TRUMBULL COUNTY Costanzo views her arrest as a lifesaver



Published: Wed, June 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The jailed attorney says she plans to voluntarily surrender her law license.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Atty. Maridee Costanzo says being arrested on a federal charge of trying to kill her estranged husband may have saved her life.

Speaking for the first time since her April arrest, Costanzo, told The Vindicator Tuesday that she felt her life was "spiraling out of control."

"In a way the arrest was like spiritual intervention," Costanzo said. "I felt like I was going to die."

The 46-year-old said she was working long hours and the stress of a busy law office was too much for her to handle.

She said she wasn't upset to learn that last month the Ohio Supreme Court suspended her law license pending the outcome of a state probe of alleged unspecified violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers and judges.

Stop practicing law

The high court ordered Costanzo to stop practicing law.

"I never want my law license back," Costanzo said. "I plan to voluntarily surrender my law license. It was nothing for me to work 11 to 14 hours a day, and it was too much."

Last week, an information was filed in U.S. District Court stating that from November 2004 to April 19, 2005, Costanzo caused William Cindea to use a facility of interstate commerce so that the murder of her estranged husband, Roger Bauer, would be committed.

The information also states that Costanzo paid $1,100 as a partial payment for the murder. Prior court documents filed stated that Costanzo had asked Cindea to hire someone to kill Bauer and that she provided Cindea with a picture of her estranged husband.

Case resolution

Atty. Tom Zena, who along with Atty. David Doughten represents Costanzo, said an information is filed when both sides have agreed to a resolution in the case.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in Akron federal court, but Costanzo said that could change since Doughten will be out of town.

Costanzo declined to talk about the specific charges but said she wants to get the matter resolved and "move on."

She is also facing charges in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Costanzo was brought to the courtroom of Judge Peter Kontos on Monday to face two counts of carrying concealed weapons, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, two counts of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice.

The charges stem from a March traffic stop, when Costanzo was a passenger in a car driven by Cindea. Police found a loaded gun tucked in the front of Costanzo's pants, reports state.

A pretrial has been scheduled for 11 a.m. July 18.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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