Caterer sues Campbell’s mayor for stop-payment on his check

By Jeanne Starmack

Caterer sues Campbell’s mayor for stop-payment on his check

Boards of health for the city and county say there were no reports of sickened wedding guests.

CANFIELD — A restaurant is suing Campbell’s mayor because he stopped payment on a $10,000 check for catering his wedding reception.

An attorney for Ange Netta’s filed the suit in Mahoning County Court in Canfield on Jan. 28. Named as defendants are George Krinos, his wife, Stephanie Valentino- Krinos, and Krinos’ business, Krinos Financial Group in Boardman. He is a financial adviser there.

Krinos said he stopped payment because 24 of the 350 guests at his wedding reception got sick after eating the food at the reception Aug. 22 at the Stambaugh Auditorium. Two of those people went to area hospitals, he said, where doctors diagnosed food poisoning.

Phyllis Olin, who co-owns Ange Netta’s with her husband, Tony, said the stop-payment has hurt them financially and that Krinos’ assertion that their food sickened his guests is a threat to their reputation.

The Mahoning County District Board of Health and the Youngstown City Health District said there were no reports, either through phone calls from wedding guests or officially from hospitals, that anyone was sick after the reception. Hospitals are required by state law to report cases of food poisoning to the boards of health, said Linda Ewing, assistant director of nursing for the county board of health.

Krinos told The Vindicator this week that he didn’t call the board of health because, “I didn’t know the process.”

Drew Stefan, a registered sanitarian with the county board of health, said doctors and emergency rooms at times will diagnose food poisoning without testing to confirm it’s really a reportable disease because tests are expensive, and the treatment is the same no matter what.

“If no tests were run, you weren’t really diagnosed,” Ewing said.

Board-of-health officials said there would be no way at this point to determine what sickened the wedding guests.

The reception included grape leaves, a cheese table and a cookie table that weren’t provided by Ange Netta’s. Guests could have been sickened by food they ate days earlier, they said.

Alcohol could have been a culprit for guests who were throwing up, Ewing pointed out.

Ange Netta’s’ file at the county board of health revealed no serious violations. Notations on the inspection reports at times praised the restaurant as being clean and well-operated.

“I have been in this business for 30 years,” Olin said. “We know what we’re doing.”

The lawsuit says Krinos entered into a contract of $14,169 for catering services and paid the restaurant $4,000 Aug. 21. He gave the Olins the check for the rest at 5:30 p.m. that same day, the day before the wedding, Olin said. The stop-payment came Aug. 26.

Olin said that after the stop- payment, she had to borrow money and dip into retirement savings to cover their costs.

She said Krinos had called her four days before the wedding and asked her to cut back on the amount of food he’d ordered, but by then, it was too late — the food had arrived. Neither Krinos nor his lawyer, Michael Maillis, would comment.

“We’re a small business,” she said. “Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money for us.”

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