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TRUMBULL COUNTY Bar asks court to suspend Costanzo



Published: Tue, May 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Ohio Supreme Court has 10 days to act on the matter.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The Trumbull County Bar Association is asking the state Supreme Court to temporarily suspend from the practice of law an attorney accused of trying to hire someone to kill her estranged husband.

Atty. Randil J. Rudloff, counsel for the Trumbull County Bar Association, filed the 11-page motion with the state Supreme Court Monday asking it to suspend Atty. Maridee L. Costanzo's license to practice law.

The court has 10 days to act on the matter. Officials at the state Supreme Court could not be reached to comment.

"I have no idea when they may act on it," Rudloff said. "Her conduct is very, very bad. I can't think of conduct that would be much worse. We don't want people that would act this way in the bar association."

Costanzo is in jail on federal charges that she tried to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband, Atty. Roger Bauer.

Atty. Thomas Zena, who represents Costanzo on the criminal charges, said he is not handling the disciplinary matter before the Supreme Court. He said he does not know whether Costanzo has retained an attorney on that matter.

Filing a motion

Rudloff's motion states that Costanzo has violated several disciplinary rules, including illegal conduct involving moral turpitude.

The motion states that Costanzo was arrested in March on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. She was a passenger in car that was stopped by police a few blocks from Bauer's home. Police found a loaded gun in Costanzo's pants. She has pleaded innocent to the charge. The case is pending in front of a Trumbull County grand jury.

Rudloff's motion further states that Bauer said that Costanzo called him a few hours before she was arrested on the gun charge and threatened him with physical harm. Bauer called police and left his home for safety reasons, Rudloff's motion states.

"Bauer returned home to discover that the exterior of his home had been vandalized," Rudloff's motion states.

In a 14-page affidavit prosecutors filed in U.S. District Court in support of Costanzo's murder-for-hire charge, it states that a source told FBI agents that Costanzo had been trying to hire someone to kill her husband.

The affidavit further states that the source tape-recorded numerous conversations with Costanzo in which she repeatedly says she wants to have Bauer killed.

Rudloff's motion also states that in an unrelated matter, Costanzo had a death row inmate contact another death row inmate, and ask him to hire her as his attorney.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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