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Legal analysts predict long, complex court battle



Published: Sun, August 22, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

By PETER H. MILLIKEN

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Local analysts say a lengthy and complex legal battle looms over the indictment of seven people and three business entities accused of attempting to block Mahoning County’s purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher for the players involved,” said Atty. David J. Betras.

If they’re convicted of any felonies, the law licenses of county Commissioner John A. McNally IV, county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino and Atty. Martin Yavorcik will be in jeopardy, and McNally and Sciortino, both elected Democrats, would lose their county jobs.

“A felony record on a public corruption kind of thing is a death knell to any further career in politics,” Betras observed.

“If they’re convicted, it’s going to be another black eye for the Mahoning Valley,” said Atty. Joseph W. Gardner, who does criminal-defense work and was an assistant Youngstown city prosecutor during the 1970s.

“The Cafaro Co. and these guys are like pillars in the community, and it’s going to hurt us if they’re convicted,” he added.

All the defendants – who have pleaded innocent – face possible jail or prison time if they’re found guilty.

If the lawyers and public officials are convicted, retired visiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr., 68, of Kettering, would likely hold them to a higher standard than other defendants and count their lawyer and public- official status against them at sentencing, Gardner said.

Betras, a lawyer for 25 years, has tried numerous major felony cases in state and federal courts as a defense lawyer.

Betras and Paul M. Nick, who is now a special prosecutor in the Oakhill case, worked together as special prosecutors to get convictions against then-county Commissioner Frank A. Lordi in 1999.

Lordi resigned as a county commissioner and was sentenced to 18 months in prison after a jury convicted him of theft in office, illegal interest in a public contract and two counts of conflict of interest. He was released from prison after serving eight months.

Today, Betras is Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman, and Nick is chief investigative counsel for the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Nick declined to comment on the legal and evidentiary issues or on his trial strategy in the Oakhill case. Betras said criminal charges against officeholders erode public confidence in government and lead to voter apathy.

“You can’t make the place better with an apathetic populace. People have to be engaged,” he said.

Indicted July 28 by a Mahoning County grand jury were Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., retired Cafaro Co. president; the company itself and its affiliates, Ohio Valley Mall Co. and Marion Plaza Inc.; Flora Cafaro, sister of Anthony M. Cafaro Sr. and part-owner of the Cafaro Co.; McNally, Sciortino, and Yavorcik; former county Treasurer John B. Reardon; and former county Job and Family Services Director John Zachariah.

Charges contained in the 73-count, 41-page indictment include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, bribery, perjury, money laundering, tampering with records, disclosure of confidential information, conflict of interest, filing a false financial disclosure statement and soliciting or accepting improper compensation.

Yavorcik, who ran unsuccessfully for county prosecutor against incumbent Paul J. Gains in 2008, and Flora Cafaro, are charged with only one count each of money laundering. Gains referred the Oakhill matter to the ethics commission for investigation in 2007.

The first pretrial hearing for all Oakhill defendants will be 9 a.m. Sept. 9.

WHAT INDICTMENT ALLEGES

The indictment alleges Anthony Cafaro Sr. and his companies, McNally, Sciortino, Reardon and Zachariah, conspired to prevent or delay the move of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services to Oakhill, which is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center.

The Ohio Valley Mall Co. was the landlord for JFS at Garland Plaza on the city’s East Side for 19 years until JFS moved to Oakhill in July 2007.

Ohio Valley’s unsuccessful lawsuit to rescind the county’s 2006 purchase of Oakhill spawned the investigation that led to the indictment.

With Betras as its lawyer, OVM also filed a breach-of-lease lawsuit concerning Garland Plaza, which the county settled for $913,590.

“They’ve got a lot to prove,” Lewis Katz, a Case Western Reserve University law professor, said of the special prosecutors in the Oakhill criminal case.

They must prove the existence of a conspiracy, the involvement of each defendant in it, and the underlying bribery, perjury and conflict of interest charges, Katz said.

“They have to make sure that their evidence attaches to each of the defendants and that they don’t rely on guilt by association,” the professor added.

“They have to be sure that the evidence they present is understandable to the jury,” which consists of lay people, Katz said. Storyboards, flow charts and other visual aids are helpful to the prosecution “in making the jury understand the wide sweep of the conspiracy” they are alleging, Katz said.

Relaxed rules against hearsay evidence that apply to conspiracy cases give the prosecution an advantage, Betras, Gardner and Katz agreed.

However, in such cases, Katz said the prosecution is at a disadvantage unless at least one defendant pleads guilty to reduced charges and agrees to testify for the prosecution in exchange for the prosecutor’s recommendation of leniency.

LENGTHY BILL OF PARTICULARS

Betras said special prosecutors Nick and Dennis P. Will, who is the Lorain County prosecutor, will spell out details of the criminal charges in a bill of particulars, which is likely to be hundreds of pages long.

Nick said the bill of particulars will likely be filed a few days after the Sept. 9 pre-trial hearing if that’s what the judge orders.

“It’ll be longer than the indictment,” Nick said, adding that the bill of particulars will give specifics concerning the alleged offenses, the dates and times of their occurrence and the participants “to the extent that we’re required to do so by law.”

In addition, before any trials occur, Gardner said the prosecutors will provide the defense with thousands of pages of evidence, known as discovery, which will include documents, financial records and witness lists.

Any trials would last a minimum of three to four weeks each, Betras and Katz said.

Katz said any trials would be lengthy because of the complexity of the case and the large number of witnesses that must be called.

Nick said the trial length is unpredictable and depends on many factors, including the extent of defense-lawyer questioning of witnesses.

Defense lawyers likely will seek to have a separate trial for each defendant, Gardner said, though the prosecutors will likely seek to put all defendants on trial together to avoid having to prepare for, and present evidence in, multiple trials.

“If the prosecution gets strong evidence against one defendant, it’s likely to attach to all the other defendants” in a combined trial, Gardner added.

Judges are concerned about the time and expense of trials, so they’re reluctant to sever defendants into separate trials unless there is a compelling reason, Katz observed.

If the prosecutors offer the defendants a plea agreement, in which they could plead guilty only to misdemeanor charges and avoid a trial, the defendants would have to seriously consider such an offer, Gardner said.

He added, however, he believes such an offer is unlikely, given the case’s high-profile nature.

“I think the public officials are probably going to trial because, if they plead guilty to a felony, they’re going to lose their jobs” and law licenses, Gardner said. “Tony Cafaro, well, he’s definitely the head defendant, so he’s probably going to trial.”

One lawyer who said he hopes the Oakhill matter goes to trial is James B. Callen, former president of the now-dormant Citizens League of Greater Youngstown, which campaigned vigorously against corruption in government.

“I’m hoping this is a teaching moment for the community, and I’m hoping that we’re able to take advantage of that,” Callen said, adding that trials put much more information on the public record than plea agreements.

CENTRAL FOCUS: CONSPIRACY?

The central question in any Oakhill trial will be: “Is there a conspiracy, or were the officials and the Cafaro Co, acting in good faith?” said Gardner, who has tried several large conspiracy cases as a defense lawyer.

Reardon, Sciortino and McNally have repeatedly said publicly that they opposed the county’s purchase of Oakhill because they were concerned about the county’s operation and maintenance costs for the former hospital.

The defense is likely to emphasize that theme again in any trials, Gardner and Callen said.

Callen said, however, “The indicted public officials seemed to be working as an adjunct to the Cafaro Co., as opposed to operating in their capacity as public officials.”

Betras said he believes the Oakhill case will be difficult for the prosecution to prove.

“This is a very defensible case,” he added.

“Government officials have a right to be lobbied, and people have a right to lobby government officials,” Betras said.

“When does it become a crime? When it’s five calls?” he asked rhetorically.

Defense lawyers must ensure “that their clients are not just lumped into a group,” Katz said. “They have to raise reasonable doubt on behalf of their clients as to the issues of intent to agree and intent to further the illegal aim of the conspiracy.”

Betras said the specification in the indictment, which calls for Anthony Cafaro to forfeit all his shares in his company and the two named affiliates, is “a very high hurdle” for the prosecutors.

“I think the prosecution would have to link all the shares to corrupt activity” to convict Cafaro of the charge, Gardner said.

The special prosecutors don’t live in the Mahoning Valley and have primary responsibilities in Columbus and Elyria, Betras added.

He said, however, that the Valley is the home base for many of the defense attorneys. “They’re going to be able to burrow in this thing,” because of their local presence, he added.

In response, Nick would only say: “We’ve got a visiting judge that neither side practices in front of on a regular basis.”


Comments

11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

“The Cafaro Co. ........ are like pillars in the community, and it’s going to hurt us if they’re convicted,” he added."

JJ has admitted to perjury during the Phil Chance trial.
JJ has claimed he bribed Jim Traficant.
JJ admitted he made illegal loans to his daughter's campaign. (Which of course she knew nothing about. How could she?)

Flora is the one who gave Cronin cash in the back of a car for which Cronin went to prison.
Flora is the one who gave unreported money to ex-Trumbull Commissioner Jim Tsgaris for which he went to prison.

What kind of pillars are they?

Anthony is innocent until proven guilty.

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2timOthy(802 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

They are like pillars in the community! Betras what are you thinking ? They are crooks especially the Carfaro's. My dad work for them or his cousin DeBartola and only go 25 cents on each dollar that was owed to us. During the depression when the wpa was in effect. And Betras who cares if these Public Servants lose their job? And thank God from the high Heavens they can't hold public office! Which you should be talking about (MOUTH PIEICE) is taking their pension and health care away! And it can happen. The question is will you stand up.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Anguis not for the Cafaros . They have plenty of money to spend and no doubt Betras is estatic about getting some of it . Long before the trials damge control with start with a media campaign . Press releases are very good and no doubt The Vindy will participate . The crap that is being exposed will be flavored with a spin to improve the palatability . In short they will tell you that the Cafaros are nice people and the charges are but an illusion .

JJ CAFARO WILL BRING IN THE BIG GUNS FOR THE BATTLE

http://www.rightohio.com/wp-content/u...

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4ytownredux(117 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Unfortunately, being "pillars of the community," only made Anthony and JJ feel untouchable and kingmakers in the Valley. While their donations to the community were large and many, you have to wonder now how many had some major league strings attached. It will be a sad day for the Mahoning Valley if Anthony only gets a slap on the wrist for these major charges.

I wish Betras said that as a lawyer he has to believe the elected office holders are innocent 'til proven guilty, but as the county democratic chair, you would hope he would realize the hurt these people have caused the Valley and if he worked and succesfully won a case with Nick before, he should know that Nick would not be presenting a case that wasn't pretty air-tight. Betras should publicly call for them to resign immediately if he wants to save any respect the local party. It is amusing that Betras says that it is 'very defensible' in that you are able to lobby your representatives. There is of course truth in that, but how many get to lobby in person in our own business office, more than dozens of times? Shouldn't the officials at least get lobbied in their office or in a public meeting place if it is on the up and up?

If this case does not end in multiple convictions, there is no hope for an honest trial in the Valley for well connected criminals.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

"If they’re convicted of any felonies, the law licenses of county Commissioner John A. McNally IV, county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino and Atty. Martin Yavorcik will be in jeopardy, and McNally and Sciortino, both elected Democrats, would lose their county jobs."

Will the Cafaros kick them under the bus or help them out with their legal bills ? This should be interesting . We could ask Maureen Cronin for her opinion on this matter . Has anyone seen Maureen ?

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6ytownredux(117 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Actually, the elected offices misdemeanor charges still make them uneligible to hold public office, but only for 7 years, not indefinitely like the felony ones do

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7redvert(2048 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I think some of you may be forgetting:
#1, These are mostly if not all, democrats.
#2, This is the valley.
#3, It does not matter whether or not any of them are guilty, all that matters is the makeup of the jury.

What do you think the makeup of the jury will be? Please refer to points #1 and #2 for a clue. Remember, all it took for Blago was to have one jurist have some "doubt". Can doubt be bought? Be honest now!!!

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8southsidedave(4777 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

More waste of the taxpayer's money to find these crooks guilty and put them in jail, hopefully!

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9davidjohn(144 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

the case will be tried in the courtroom

but why would the newspaper use betras for commentary when he represented the cafaros as stated in the article and when capri was running for congress

dont you think they could have asked another lawyer for their opinion

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10mrblue(969 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

A hefty fine, a slap on the wrist, and it's all over. Mahoning valley justice.

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11Nunya(1356 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Ahhh you've caught on,..

See first off it's clear and beyond any question or bias opinion. That Vindy is giving camp Cafaro and their cronies the benefit of shilling for them.

Which by your noting Vindy's fawning where the Cafaro name is self damned. The angle is to consistently attempt to present and re-present their boy Dave Betras.

As to be made out as hailed as some celestial or even respectable source,.. sickening isn't it.

See this is the very reason why print media is being phased out of social interest. See people want facts and fact based opinions. Which allows them to come to their own conclusions in regards to a subject, topic or individual[s],.. Vindy?

Which what you've pointed out is Vindy's not the source for providing that to the populous. They're stuck in the foregone era of force feeding and soon they'll be defunct by the populous vastly growing dis-acceptance,..

In retrospect readers get better reads and informative sound perspectives. From independent voiced non Vindy associated citizens weighing in here. Than you do from the slant from the topic originating scribes perched at their mind spin mill,.. polling would confirm that.

See here the scribe ruined this review piece when they incurably infused the slants from the likes of a Dave Betras and Joe Gardner in it. Whom are merely non indicted but by history interlaced cronies for the criminally charged.

See the reason why newspaper is going out of business. Is because they're not top sources of non biased information anymore. The game is outdated and the vast majority of minions that own / control such print for profit based media outlets.

Have been widely discovered as mere malarkey mills that craft slant to present an illusion of influence effort lies,.. people are tired of that.

Where in this day and age of fact sharing and the advent of mass communication venues and devices. No way in hell can such spin in print syndicates survive trying to sell their bias. In a manner of deceptively stealing a profit by robbing the populous of the facts,.. bye-bye to the bribery mills.

See no matter how non bias and objective as you'd like to be about what you've pointed out. Fact is you and the large number of people that's realized the same thing are smart and right.

Having caught onto what you know about distinguishing who's trying to zoom you,.. and it's profound.

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12Nunya(1356 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

PART II

See this is like the 3rd Vindy writer and 2nd local media source that caters to a duplicitous duo of Betras and Dann. To which by their well documented historic connection and deeds as two Cafaro connected individuals.

For objectivity and enlightenment you'd think a real " news " source would steer clear of such shills. In regards to gaining respectable opinion and reputable perspective to spread into the public forum,.. and it's having a reverse effect their appeal.

See when this thing broke Betram was trying to rally an outpouring of support to call the court case off and cited " innocent people " were being viewed unjustly in the election. Another of their scribes tried to play " Pro Fozie " relief pitch for Betras in the dust up he had with AEY during the primaries,.. it was pathetic.

Pose the question,.. In pursuit of the facts and non tainted position and perspective. Who in the hell cares what a Dave Betras or disgraced Marc Dann thinks about this or anything else,.. aside from Vindy.

For that matter try polling who'd be even remotely interested in what a Joseph W. Gardner. Whom perched as asst prosecutor amidst the most criminally uncovered eras in Youngstown's corruption of governance history,.. perspective?

He's { gardner } clearly a remnant rogue of the Ray T. Davis, Jim Traficant and corrupt judges era and it shows in what he so pathetically alleged,.. a mere throwback no worth no count.

So take Vindy for what it's worth and in regards to their playing to those like a Betras, Dann and Gardner. The collective terms of distinguishing between snake, mole or rat are only semantics here,.. and they're all applicable.

I've had this discussion with a number of outlets that I came up reading and they've made changes to assist their viable market survival,... it seems to be too late to salvage Vindy.

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13YSU_Alumna(34 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

What is it with Mahoning County Democratic Chairmen?! I remember back in the late 70's there was one who pulled strings in the prosecutor's office for a ne're do well simply because the welfare-fraud, scheming bully campaigned for the Democratic Chairman! (By the way, that prosecutor, Jim Philomena finally went to prison years later with the rest of the crooked "upholders of the law"). I feel sorry whenever money talks in any town and I'm sorry to see it continues in my home town. I have been gone from Y-town for over 25 years, but I hoped for better for my friends and family I left behind. I hope these indicted and indignant snobs spend all of their money on legal fees and still rot in a miserable prison. Yes, innocent until proven guilty, but history has shown how their money has bought and sold PEOPLE....Justice should not be for sale.

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14justonevoice(94 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@ mrblue - Sadly, I believe you are correct Sir.

@Nunya - I don't know if i'm alone in this but I have a really hard time understanding what you're trying to convey. I mean no disrespect by that but i'm just wondering if i'm the only one that has a hard time following your posts?

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15wraz(15 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Only in good old Youngstown do the people get such a charge out of trying to denegrate a local family who has provided thousands of jobs....thousands of contracts for building...electrical....landscape...police etc etc.... pay taxes that are keeping certain communities thriving and donate millions to education and good charities....give credit to many positive projects to local politicians that they themselves accomplished in this Valley and I could go on and on.....this poverty mentality that roots against our own is pathetic and is rooted in jealousy...working to better your business and community that keeps our area thriving is a bad thing? This will be exposed for what it is...This is a political battle that in the end will prove WHO really is the "bad guys" I know it is sooooo hard to break away from this type of mentality for a bunch of phony self serving pansies....give it a shot...believe the best

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16ytownredux(117 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Wraz, how I wish I could agree with you, but can you riddle me this? Why can't a person/s or company who does the great things you mention, not stop at trying to get as much payback and bully pulpiting as possible from the community they portend to love so much??

You have to give them credit for their good works, but good works does not cancel out criminal behavior. Those that think they can buy their freedom are as bad as those who do nothing. Do you ever hear the Larricia's name being talked about in Valley corruption? Tony and his wife have given millions to this area as well and they have never asked or expected anything from the community in return. Those are the real philandropists, not phonies who break the law at will, while using all their extra millions to do some good.

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17wraz(15 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I ask you to tell me when the last time you saw the word corruption and Anthony Cafaro's name in the same sentence? Thats correct.....never!!! This particular situation should be easy to follow if you are not simply blindly reading blanket accusations with no real specifics.....You think for a single minute that the purchase of that rathole building with taxpayer dollars with no studies or cost projections, was something any other County could get away with?

All the contents of the lease they were in at McGuffey were properly negotiated after the bid process!!! The idea that the empire would crumble if JFS left McGuffey is a joke....The concern was and is...what happens to the Eastside? The local council didnt give a heck then but oh now they care and are continuously complaining about the center that now has no ability to hold on to even community tenants....I only ask that you hold judgement and search deeper into who has what to GAIN by these indictments

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18Silence_Dogood(1322 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

justonevoice
"@Nunya - I don't know if i'm alone in this but I have a really hard time understanding what you're trying to convey. I mean no disrespect by that but i'm just wondering if i'm the only one that has a hard time following your posts?"

What you have there is the triple play,
Shakespeare, a Thesaurus, and large amounts of drugs

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19ytownredux(117 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Wraz, good point, it seems that JJ has the prize for seeing his name and the word corruption in the same sentence. I guess Anthony who works closely with his brother in the family company is just an idiot and has no idea what is going on. OR perhaps he is just very smart and has not been caught until now. Believe me, I am not blindly reading blanket accusations, I know the specifics.

Oakhill has yet to be proven a good or bad decision for the county, just posturing. The fact that you call it a rathole and defend McGuffey shows that you have bias and no common sense. The contents of that lease was a joke and frankly the prior commissioners that negotiated that lease should be brought up on charges themselves. Properly negotiated? Are you kidding me? A triple net lease where the Cafaro's argue that the roof is not part of the building?? The concern was and is what would happen to our legacy if our very first devolopment was to go away. If it was a choice between boarding up and getting that little hellhole of a building at McGuffey stripped and looted or that of the huge southside hospital?? The commissioners made the right decision!!

Lastly who has to gain by these indictments? We the people of Mahoning County as we get rid of even more of the corruption we have been subjected to by our elected leaders and the powerbrokers like the Cafaros. Hopefully the forfeiture specifications will kick in and we can get some money back that was wasted defending that self-serving so called "taxpayer lawsuit" that the Cafaros wrongly brought on and LOST.

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20wraz(15 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Interesting comments....The two buildings were in about the same shape at the time of this ordeal....but owning a building that needs that much work and cost as much as it does to operate and repair is NO COMMON SENSE...the advantages in leasing in todays commercial realestate business is easy to defend against a purchase with no homework done and all that was a gamble!!! Are you for real?...I'm bias????Were you in these two buildings prior to this purchase? I guarentee you were not looking at this as a good taxpayer should....no way The content of the lease was negotiated and all building owners had the same chance to house the JFS..what is the joke? The prior commisioners and legal counsel did the job they were paid to do!!!! You are already lost in the hoopla of let's get the successful family in the town of mistakes....this will be a big one

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21Nunya(1356 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@ wraz

Wow,..

With as inaccurate as you've got your version of this ordeal going against every fact in the book to distort extortion is incredible.

No way were those two structures even remotely comparable in regards to condition, value or expansion growth.

To include there were already country services in operation at Oakhill and not just any operations. But the vital services of the Health department and the county coroner and the city morgue.

Also when there's an opportunity to have the taxpayers gain outright ownership of such a multi services facility. As opposed to the revolving costs of leasing and assuming a never ending expense of private profit ownership property it's a no brainer.

To include anybody that would oppose that would be either business illiterate and cost efficient incompetent.

Or downright personal interest criminal and that's exactly why there's a criminal trial to distinguish how stupid the criminals think the public is.

Sure the criminality connection may extend so far that it taint's the court process of prosecution. But the facts of guilt are so profound that you can't win this one even by virtue of common sense.

By all means you're entitled to your own opinion. But when elementary facts are this vast and this clear.

There's no way in hell you're going to fool the very public taxpayers that you're trying to prey upon. To sway favor into alleging it's not what it seems or appears to be.

That Garland complex is now officially due to be condemned and there were so many Health related claims and suits filed by JFS workers having been forced to work in that bacteria infested bungalow.

See aside from the sensible long term taxpayers savings and vast expansion benefits that Oakhill's purchase provides.

Just looking out for the patrons and stopping the numerous medical health claims and compensation costs to those JFS employees alone. By getting them out out that germ filled grotto over on garland speaks for itself.

See this even goes beyond the money that's going to equate into the taxpayers savings.

It even has extreme relevance of those trying to stop the move. Clearly not giving a damn about the health of neither the JFS employees.

Nor adult and children clients the JFS served by forcing them to endure the illness laden conditions of that personal interest profit pit.

That's the non bias facts and pathetic just doesn't get anymore clearer and criminally indefensible than that.

So let the culprits try to make a case to the populous that their orchestrated acts were in anyway even remotely honorable.

Or having displayed using their positions of representation of their interest. To benefit anyone but them criminally greedy, corrupt and intolerably reprehensible selves.

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22JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I actually understood and agree with Nunya.

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23ytownredux(117 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Wraz, again, I think you are a bit misguided. Point by point: The 2 buildings were in no where near the same shape, and yes I toured the entire Oak Hill site and saw the pictures of Garland. There was a horrible roof at Garland. They were hanging plastic bags from the ceilings over the main-frame computers to keep them from getting wet. There was mold and broken tiles everywhere. (BTW I do fault the county for not doing normal wear and tear upkeep, it was not done well, but the roof which was a major source of the problems should be on Cafaro's dime, it was his building.) However, Oak Hill does not have those problems, the renovation costs there are for changing the interiors primarily to fit the needs of the departments moving in there and all the computers it takes to run those departments. Oak his has no problem structurally as did Garland. Some update of heating/air conditioning would help, but they are both working and not in disrepair. These 2 buildings are in NO way comparable.

Next, I will even give you that there was possibly not much homework done on Oakhill, althought I feel there was some and enough, but that being said, to buy for the county is much smarter than leasing. Yes the upkeep is big, but remember even though you are leasing buildings, there is still an extra charge for the utilitiies and now you can combine multi county offices and not pay the rent, that more than offsets the upkeep. I am definitely looking at this as a good taxpayer should and with much more insight to this particular situation than the average taxpayer here in the Valley has.

You do realize that the lease was negotiated 20 years ago and we have been out of lease and staying month to month the past 10 years right? Again, I say a triple net lease with supposedly the roof not being part of the building is a joke. There was extremely bad negotiating on the part of the old commissioners 20 years ago. Let me also say, and I am sorry to be cryptic, but you are not necessarily correct that all building owners had the chance to negotiate a deal for JFS back in the day.

Finally, again I am not lost in any hoopla, but simply going from evidence that I have seen that leads me to believe that Anthony is about shoulder deep in this and good works by the family and company or not, he should not be held less accountable because of those deeds. He did criminal wrong and should be punished accordingly. I also want our office holders held just as accountable if not more so because they were elected to protect OUR best interests, not a childhood friends or a corporations!!!

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24Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Renting from the Cafaro organization is always a good deal . For the Cafaros !

"Justice should not be for sale."

Yer right ! The Cafaros say that it should only be on loan !

Has anyone seen Maureen Cronin ?

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