MAHONING COUNTY 'Hanging mayor' picked for jury pool
George McKelvey says no defense attorney would want him as a juror.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Among the 475 people selected for a jury pool in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court is a man who issued this statement: "Defense attorneys, beware. Your client is guilty until proven innocent in my book."
That potential juror is Youngstown Mayor George M. McKelvey.
"If I'm in the jury box, the suspect is guilty," he said.
McKelvey is on the jury pool list of people who must report July 11 to the courthouse. The mayor was informed Friday by The Vindicator that his name is on the list. The county jury commissioner office didn't mail notices to jury pool members until later in the day.
"The hanging mayor is on the jury," McKelvey said. "No defense attorney is going to want me on the jury."
McKelvey said he is "pro-victim," and it would take an overwhelming amount of evidence to convince him that anyone charged with a crime is innocent.
If selected to serve on a jury, McKelvey could hear either criminal or civil cases.
McKelvey said he served on a county jury hearing a civil case in the 1970s when he was a teacher.
Besides the mayor, others on the 475-person jury pool reporting to court July 11 are Mary A. Sammarone, wife of Youngstown Water Commissioner Charles Sammarone, who is running in November for city council president, and Thomas P. Gilmartin Jr., the son of former state Rep. Thomas P. Gilmartin Sr.
The jury commissioner office gets the names of potential jurors from a voter registration list given to it by the county board of elections. The jury commissioner office uses a computer that randomly picks about 450 to 500 names from that list about 20 times a year to create its jury pools.