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Ohio’s top court returns 2 requests in Oakhill case to regular schedule

Published: Wed, December 29, 2010 @ 12:06 a.m.


Anthony Cafaro Sr.

By Peter H. Milliken



After the failure of mediation attempts, the Ohio Supreme Court returned two public records request cases related to Oakhill Renaissance Place to its regular schedule for further action.

The records complaints were filed as mandamus actions at the top court in Columbus by Atty. John F. McCaffrey of Cleveland, a lawyer for the Cafaro interests, in his effort to compel the Mahoning County commissioners and county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains to fulfill his requests.

In those complaints, McCaffrey said county officials haven’t completely fulfilled his records requests in accordance with the state’s open-records law.

However, Gains said the county gave McCaffrey more than 8,000 pages, everything that Gains believes is subject to the open-records law.

“The next step is for us to file an answer, and we’ll proceed accordingly,” Gains said after the top court’s Tuesday action to return the matters to its regular schedule.

“[The court] may make a determination that we have complied with the public-records act,” perhaps without hearing oral arguments, Gains said. “They often handle these cases without oral argument” by relying solely on written arguments in legal briefs, he said of the justices.

McCaffrey is one of the lawyers defending the Ohio Valley Mall Co. and the Marion Plaza Inc., both affiliates of the Cafaro Co., in a criminal-conspiracy case.

In that criminal case, special prosecutors allege those three companies; Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., former president of the Cafaro Co.; County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino, County Commissioner John A. McNally IV; former county Treasurer John B. Reardon, and former county Job and Family Services Director John Zachariah conspired to impede JFS’ move from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters to Oakhill Renaissance Place.

The criminal jury trial is set to begin June 6 before visiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr. in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Oakhill is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, which the county bought in 2006 and to which JFS moved in 2007.

In yet another Oakhill-related legal matter, Gains is appealing the refusal by Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to let the county commissioners spend up to $50,000 to use a Columbus law firm to represent the county in the public-records cases at the state’s top court.

Oral arguments in that appeal are set for 11:30 a.m. Jan. 12 at the 7th District Court of Appeals in Youngstown.

Judge Sweeney said it is Gains’ job to defend the commissioners in the public-records cases and that the Columbus firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, which charges up to $525 an hour, is too expensive.

Gains said he is entitled to outside counsel in the records cases because he is a defendant in one of them.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Who was the knucklehead that said try mediation between the Hatfield and the McCoys?

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2davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

why did the vindy eliminate the venerose comments

did they bother dellick

or hunter

or venerose

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3Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

Ahhh finally some jurisprudence,..

By this ruling the Ohio Supreme Court has vehemently refused a defense counsel's request. To play any sideshow role in what sounds like the prevarication tactics of Mr. Wolf's and the defense counsels stonewalling tactics.

That brief served upon the High court. Would have had to or needed to cite specifics as to what material they were requesting. For which was apparently so vague or merit-less the high court rejected two motions / arguments as frivolous.

See this is only yet another reason why the visiting local yoko. Needs to adhere to the laws and importance of records and proceedings transparency. As to not just afford but honor and respect the rights of the taxpaying populous. To have and exercise the access ability to educate themselves. As to whats going on and distinguish who's trying to gum up the process.

I've stated it before and I'll state it again. The way the defense counsels are proceeding here. Strongly signifies that they're laboriously looking for trying to create a leniency. Where they'd love to launch a backroom bid of striking a balance to submit mass plea bargains,.. even the mere exposure of the details of the charges has them frantic.

For which Mr. Wolf, has been consistently ruling in such a way.That he's shielding the mere details of the charges like such an extension of the defense counsel for the indicted.

That not a single dime of taxpayers money needs to be remanded to incur the cost of such a visit via such orchestration.

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4Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

@ Marcus57

Where I'll stand with the sentiment of not wishing, condoning nor promoting physical harm be done to anyone. However, without bias or BS it's good to see that if government corruption criminality that's plagued Youngstown for ages. Is going to be tried in a manner of prosecution I'm willing to hear both sides.

For which to be fair and impartial here. If you'll take note of how the prosecutors office has worked. By that measure alone it'd be absolutely impossible. For anyone to even remotely allege or attempt to cite Paul Gains or anyone else down there as any godsend,.. by ANY stretch of the imagination.

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5Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

@ davidjohn

You're very observant

Here's the link without those erased perspectives,.. http://www.vindy.com/news/2010/dec/29...

For others to understand you're speaking of the article a few weeks ago. Where a local sheriff, prosecutor and a number of " Judges? ". Whom not only willfully and deliberately acted, displayed and conducted themselves in concert.

For their actions to display them as nothing less than corrupt conduits of criminality. Acting in concert with and for a crook. That just so happened to had worked for the Cafaro family as his credentials of astounding acceptance,.. and he couldn't have fleeced that elderly lady without their help.

Surely any coincidence to those " people " holding the positions of such dishonorable con's and Ex-cons. That hail by the names and positions of Jim Traficant, Maureen Cronin, James Tsagaris and others isn't irrelevant hearsay,.. in the least.

Vindy voided / hid / obliterated those non threatening comments and perspectives.Solely because they were accurately citing criminals as criminals and did it so conclusively it left no question to who they are,.. sure the guilty found that unsettling.

Although that type of shilling certainly isn't the first time Vindy did that. For which distinguishes how and why so many have long noticed their bias. To such an extent that the populous that make up the viewer / readership in the region Vindy is positioned in. Has progressively outgrown Vindy's slanted practices and views,.. check the numbers that reflect their lack of subscription appeal.

See when independent voices weigh in without slant and give a clear and accurate perspective. The heads at Vindy get busy and erases those sentiments as if they never appeared,.. IN THIS CASE 41 INDEPENDENT WERE OMITTED.

They { Vindy } did so because the candid and yet not only non threatening. But non vulgar nor profanity usage comments rendered by various independent voices call things straight. So those that were identified as deplorable and indefensibly criminal in a given instance or article Happen to be cohorts in cahoots in a that Vindy panders for.

So by that measure it's clearly a " conflict of interest issue ",.. No?

If that's not it what else could it be?,..anything else would position as an implausible EXCUSE.

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6davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago


this is starting to smell

this guy should be criminally prosecuted

little confidence in the prosecutor

the spectacle before a grand jury

could be very embarrassing

could you see dellick and hunter and traficanti and swierz and cafaros and wellington

ordered to come to the grand jury

to testify about this guy

first 2011 prediction

this guy will walk unless the probate court makes a stink

and don't know if the judge is allowed to do that

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7author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

If the Probate Court Judge DOESNT make a stink - maybe there is something dirty there?

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8davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

@ author50

can a judge force a prosecutor to file charges

why do you think the vindicator took off
the veneorse comments

and why cant new comments be posted anymore

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91970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

I did not go to the court website to read the opinion, but one reason why Venerose may not be prosecuted is that the issue may not be "stolen" $$.

Because nursing home is involved, that probably means there was a medicare or medicaid issue. I think there is a 5 year "look back" or "go back" period.
What could have happened is that the medicaid/medicare folks had a PRIORITY claim over the money, not necessarily that money was stolen.

Hopefully one of you who are good at the court links thing will get the court's opinion and see what court determined and maybe post it here.

Vindy probably took down the comments because people were accusing him of stealing from church and being gay and pretty much everything else except being on the grassy knoll or burying Jimmy Hoffa.

And hopefully Vindy will follow up the story, too. Has to be more to it otherwise you'd think he'd be in trouble. I really doubt any type of conspiracy between the officeholders, too.

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10author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

@ davidjohn

I think Mahoning County Probate Judge Mark Belinky knows how the system works and fails as well as anyone. If criminal charges are not filed against Venerose - I have hope that Judge Belinky will find some other way to get Venerose what he deserves. After all, Judge Belinky knows the details better than anyone about this case.

I didn't know about the comment problem until just now and I have to agree with you about that. Something smells bad. Then again, it IS the Vindicator - look at Looooooie Free's 100 year old blog still being up!

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11Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

@ davidjohn

I agree,..

It doesn't just stink as to mere poor judgment or gross incompetency. But for the nature, consistency and connectivity of all those involved it easily reeks of a racketeering ring that got actions of a host of individuals exposed as conduits and others as accomplices.

I don't know that lady at all it's just that I'm intolerant to the gross mistreatment she received and appalled by how it was orchestrated. Thus for now one can only hope that Judge Belinky, steps up and invokes the power of his position. To handle that coddled criminal that stole all that money from that defenseless lady.

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12Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

@ 1970mach1

I disagree

See if there were those alleging to falsely know the facts beyond what's publicly known. Or if they were distastefully disparaging his or any of the others sexuality or something like that. Then by all means one can rationalize Vindy or any other host cite removing that specific posters comments.

However, that wasn't the case and the vast majority of independent voices weighing in. Were in resounding agreement as to what they / we deduced from what was there. But what got those posts removed was because of the actions noted by what were supposed to be esteemed officials.

Mind you none of those perspectives shared in regards to those involved. Were non-supportive without merit from even what was depicted right there in regards to their actions in the article. So no matter what angle one wants to take. To have ALL those perspectives omitted and disable anymore to be rendered. Is an action that unquestionably speaks for itself,.. unquestionably.

So lastly on a scale of good, bad or indifferent in regards to personal perspective or that of the populous.

Vindy's actions of omitting ALL those well presented perspectives is well within their right. But it also speaks volumes as to how " indifferent " Vindy remains.

Which in their self orchestration of a plummeting lack of interest of the public in their manner. They even void candid conversation in regards to unblemished perspectives from independent voices,..

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13davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

maybe someone can answer these questions

when does the grand jury meet

how long are they in session

if the prosecutor does not charge someone

can the state attorney general get involved

can a judge order a county prosecutor to take evidence to a grand jury

after reading all these comments

both the ones that were taken off

and the ones that have not been taken off

it is clear there are lots of office holders

who want this case to go away

with no further investigation

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14Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

@ davidjohn

You're asking some good questions and without going into a belabored explanation that I may now word so clearly.

For posted answers read this information,.. http://campus.udayton.edu/~grandjur/f...

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15Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago

@ davidjohn

Here's a more concise definition of how it operates, convenes and operates. This one is without the perplexing case log in how the judiciary of a Grand Jury is applied or challenged by motion of petition.

Here's the far more applicable ABA link,.. http://www.abanet.org/media/faqjury.html

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16davidjohn(144 comments)posted 5 years, 5 months ago


that was helpful

some of the questions remain unanswered

thanks anyway

first the vindy stopped new comments

on the venerose story

now the story wes removed from the most commented list

although it had more comments then 3 of the 5 stories still up

the coverup begins

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