By Tim Yovich
WARREN — Tony Delmont, the central figure in the Trumbull County purchasing scandal, has been released early from prison so he can go home to die.
Delmont, 52, was released Wednesday by Gov. Ted Strickland because he has terminal cancer.
Dennis Watkins, Trumbull County prosecutor, said Wednesday that he has complete trust in the governor’s decision and agrees with it.
“We have no objections,” Watkins said, noting he feels sorry for Delmont.
Delmont, who was the county maintenance director, was convicted in 2006 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court of theft in office, bribery and money laundering.
He was sentenced to three years in prison by Judge Peter Kontos with the sentence to begin as soon as he was healthy enough to report to the county jail before being shipped to prison. He reported to the jail in July 2007.
Delmont bought maintenance and cleaning supplies in huge quantities and at exorbitant prices. He said he gave $50,000 to elected officials, but no public officials have been charged.
Chris Becker, an assistant county prosecutor, had said the purchasing probe turned up about $400,000 worth of theft of county money. Fines collected from various individuals also charged in the scandal was about $300,000, including $60,000 in restitution from Delmont.
According to the governor’s warrant releasing Delmont, Dr. Martin Akusoba, director of the medical services at Ohio’s Corrections Medical Center in Columbus, and the attending physician certified May 5 that Delmont “is in imminent danger of death as he is suffering from acute lymphocytic leukemia, hypertension and diabetes.”
Dr. Akusoba has certified that Delmont has less than six months to live. Leukemia is a cancer in the blood or of the bone marrow.
The warrant said that Judge Kontos has no position regarding the release.
Strickland said in the warrant that if Delmont’s health improves, he will be returned to prison. Also, he can be imprisoned again if he violates any rules of his release. The conditions are not specified in the warrant.
Delmont is staying at a Willard Avenue Northeast residence in Warren.