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UPDATED WITH CHARGES: 7 indicted in Oakhill case

Published: Thu, July 29, 2010 @ 2:35 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — Seven people were indicted today by a Mahoning County grand jury on charges of corruption in connection with the county’s purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place.

Mahoning County Commissioner John A. McNally IV, County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino, then-county treasurer John B. Reardon, attorney Martin Yavorcik, businessman Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., Flora Cafaro and former Jobs and Family Services Director John Zachariah plus the Cafaro Co., the Ohio Valley Mall and the Marion Plaza were all named in charges in connection with county’s purchase of Oakhill.

Among the 73 counts are charges ranging from money laundering to tampering with records to perjury and bribery.

Individual charges:

• Anthony M. Cafaro Sr.: two counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felonies); two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felonies); three counts of perjury (third-degree felonies); four counts of bribery (third-degree felonies); and three counts of money laundering (third-degree felonies).

• Flora Cafaro: money laundering, a third-degree felony.

• Attorney Martin Yavorcik: money laundering, a third-degree felony.

• County Commissioner John A. McNally IV: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felony); two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felony); three counts of perjury (third-degree felony); bribery (third-degree felony); disclosure of confidential information (first-degree misdemeanor); two counts of conflict of interest (first-degree misdemeanor); and soliciting or accepting improper compensation (first-degree misdemeanor).

• Former County Treasurer John Reardon: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felony); two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felony); two counts of perjury (third-degree felony); bribery (third-degree felony); two counts of conflict of interest (first-degree misdemeanor); and filing false financial disclosure statement with the Ohio Ethics Commission (first-degree misdemeanor).

• County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felony); two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felony); two counts of perjury (third-degree felony); bribery (third-degree felony); two counts of conflict of interest (first-degree misdemeanors); filing false financial disclosure statement with the Ohio Ethics Commission (first-degree misdemeanor); and soliciting or accepting improper compensation (first-degree misdemeanor).

• Former Jobs and Family Services Director John Zachariah: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felony); two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felony); three counts of perjury (third-degree felony); bribery (third-degree felony); and tampering with records (third-degree felony)

The county bought Oakhill, which is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, in 2006 for use as a county office complex. The 353,000-square-foot Oakhill complex was built in stages between 1910 and 1972.

For the complete story, see Friday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1author50(1121 comments)posted 6 years ago

Only 7?

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2valleyred(1103 comments)posted 6 years ago

I am disappointed by this news.

It was bad enough that our tax dollars were wasted on purchasing this dump, that is evidently far from structurally sound as we witnessed with the Toronto Earthquake escapade a month or two back, but now there are 7 indictments....

It is sad that this day has come. None of this would be happening if Traficanti, Ludt, and Tablack would have done some due diligence and thought twice about purchasing that financial drain on the county, which will cause countless financial problems for decades to come.

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3grand4dad(219 comments)posted 6 years ago

Not surprising but very sad. I knew this day was coming. It indeed will be a very ugly court case.

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4atowngrad(21 comments)posted 6 years ago

OK next, Traficanti, Ludt and Tablack need to be investigated for puppeteering.

McNally & Associates are being indicted for the purchase of the building while Tablack and his puppets are making out with the renovations to the money pit.

People need to look into the commissioners meetings and building commission meetings to really see what is going on.

Hopefully all of the garbage will be cleaned out and the county can start over again.....this time on a positive note.

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5Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years ago


There's a couple names missing here more notably Lisa Antonini and I'd have presumed Dave Betras too.

Although Betras must have toed the line of legalities well enough to have used the attorney client privilege as a shield.

But no way in hell could Reardon, McNally or Sciortino been missed as well as Zachariah and Yavorcik either.

In regards to Antonini, she was right in the mix with that outfit. Where apparently she's cut a deal because plumps name should be included in that ink.

Although it appears that they're not playing charades here either. Because they damn sure included Anthony and the Cafaro Co. to include the subsidiaries of the Ohio Valley mall and the Marion plaza in the suit.

Anthony like J.J. know the ropes and have been known to flip on underlings in a heartbeat. So now all eyes and ears will be peeled on Flora Cafaro.

Because now ole Flora, has gotten herself discovered as a notorious bag woman of the bunch. She was a conduit go between with Cronin's corruption, the campaign attempt to buy Capri a congressional seat and now this.

I'd believe Reardon, McNally and Sciortino have to be antsy as long tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs because I don't think Flora will jail well so some " splainin " will definitely be taking place .

The expiration for this grand Jury isn't until sometime tomorrow so there could be a couple more names that gets entered by the 11th hour.

The only thing that would make this all for not would be if O'Malley's name mysteriously appears to pose as a judge again.

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6Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years ago


You're preposterous,..

No,.. none of this would be happening if that faction of Cafaro, wing men hadn't tried what they did. They were so defiant about continuing to seize taxpayers money. They even cost the county a load of legal fees to fend off their frivolous intimidation / extortion suit.

So sure you're disappointed because it sounds like a number of your handlers / idols are now officially on the hook.

The purchase of Oakhill was by far the best option and for anybody to had opposed it had to be a Cafaro interest proponent.

To include that evacuation was precautionary and NO structural damage to that building was sustained.

It not only provides vast expansion accommodations to host other services. But just like nothing's free when it comes to providing such a facility. The owners are now the very residents that gets services provided out of the facility.

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7sknirak(120 comments)posted 6 years ago

They will all walk! Convicted and PUNISHED in this Democrat valley? NEVER! Convicted? Yes. But their "sentences" will no doubt include house arrest with "monitoring", reductions for time served, and their public service records will be taken into "account". Probably the sentences will be 30 days with time off for good behaviour, previous time served, hardship and such. The net result will be they skate on this.

Now if they were Republicans, the lynch mobs would be out in full force. The leftist propagandists would be working overtime and every sin of Bush, Reagan and Nixon would be trotted out and gone over, not that they were without any.
They screwed up, too. But not like this!

The investigation into the debacle of the Panera-Chevy Center ought to be next. But with the one party rule of this valley, it ain't gonna happen.

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8ytownredux(117 comments)posted 6 years ago

As usual Valley Red, you are wrong on most of your points. Oakhill is not a dump, and even if it was, that was not the focus of this investigation. It has nothing to do with whether or not it was a good deal or not, it was about county officials and vested interested people in the community working together improperly to thwart the deal.

Structurally unsound? That was a parlour trick by a union that was against the move crying chicken little when there was no damage done to the building whatsoever.

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9FormerYtowner(96 comments)posted 6 years ago

@ Nunya, I too was wondering where Lisa Antonini's name was on that list..... maybe at a later time. Depends on who blabs first.

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10ytownredux(117 comments)posted 6 years ago

Again, no matter how hard you try to make it, this case IS NOT about whether Oakhill was a good deal or not, if this case is proven, it will be that there were people looking out for other interests than the counties working together against the County.

I think that the money dump allegations are mostly smoke and mirrors as well. Of course it's a bigger building and will have more maintenance costs, but once all County entities are there, it should be fine. Remember just moving JFS there SAVED the County $440,000 a year in rent, so there has been $1,320,000 saved in the past 3 years.

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11ytownredux(117 comments)posted 6 years ago

Perhaps you are right Censoredship, but perhaps you are not. You do understand that the County Coroner, the City Health Dept. and another group or two were in Oak Hill and would have had to move out immediately and relocate if the bankruptcy went through.

You also realize that EVERYONE has said that the building JFS was in was horrible, making people sick, and falling apart and a new building would mean being in that building even longer.

And finally you understand the charges that were brought today seem to be about the Cafaros working with certain County elected officials working against the County to keep them in the Cafaro building. Do you honestly think there would have been less of a fight if they were still moving out of the Cafaro building to a new building? No....same battle, different location. Think about it.

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12lidieo3(24 comments)posted 6 years ago

No doubt Tablack and Traficanti will be celebrating tonight! McNally should have canned Tablack while he had the chance.....to late now.

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13ytownredux(117 comments)posted 6 years ago

more interesting than that Censoredship is the forfeiture specification of all of his shares in Ohio Valley Mall that Anthony Cafaro has...that has got to be worth tons. The other is just a run down horrible building.

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14valleyred(1103 comments)posted 6 years ago


Traficanti may be celebrating tonight, but his day will be coming in 2012 when he gets defeated just like Ludt was a few months back.

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15Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

It's what is going on out of public view that will decide this case . I predict justice will be Cafaro style with a fine and no jail time for Anthony M. Cafaro Sr .

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16Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

" evidently far from structurally sound as we witnessed with the Toronto Earthquake escapade a month or two back"

You are plain and simple an IDIOT. Please inform us as to ONE single structural element to that building that failed during that earthquake.
Just one will do .

IDIOT! You must work for the Cafaro's

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17Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

It would seem that a great deal of the info that the Fed's have, comes from a meeting that was with McNally Scoritino Reardon and Antonini. With that said one has to ask how the Feds found out about what was said unless someone turned. With that thought in mind, and the lack of charges against Antonini, it would not be a stretch to think that is was Antonini that is the one singing a song to stay out of reform school. So it would seem that it was NOT an Ursuline reunion after all.

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18Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

Sorry I forgot the chairman of the board of that meeting, CAFARO.

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19north_side_girl(214 comments)posted 6 years ago

silence, i think they were referring to how after the minor tremble from the earthquake, everyone at oakhill got to go home from work. todd franko wrote a long editorial about how they exaggerated the danger from the quake as an excuse to go home early.

IDIOTS are the ones who don't at least google before they type

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20ytownredux(117 comments)posted 6 years ago

Sorry Northside, but while I don't like to resort to name calling on here, (it just brings out arguments and turns off the real problem,) Silence was correct. ValleyRed was using the earthquake to defend the unstable structure of Oak Hill which is false. Again, it was the leader of the Union who has been a vocal opponent of Oak Hill that made the stink to go home and claim the red herring that the building was unsafe. ValleyRed is wrong and Silence is correct, no google needed.

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21TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years ago

law rule # 1: he who rolls first gets the best deal.


Well, looks like this solves the problem of trash at mosquito lake. Cafaros will be out picking it up

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22Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

North side girl you must have trouble reading, did you go to Harding and Rayen by chance?

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23nuganuech(46 comments)posted 6 years ago

This place will never change. Corruption probably occurs all over the country, but it is a local past time here. It's just embarrassing,
We could bulldoze the whole place and make a national park, but someone would find a way to bribe and/or get a shakedown from the animals.

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24Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

id·i·ot   /ˈɪdiət/ [id-ee-uht]
1. an utterly foolish or senseless person.

I would think that someone that thinks this building is not SAFE based on GAMES played by a Union( that is out to stir up trouble) would quailfy as foolish.Ergo an idiot.

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25HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 6 years ago

Is anyone really surprised? More great things from the grads of the parochial schools.

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26Warrior75(2 comments)posted 6 years ago

I've been gone from Youngstown for 30 years.Some things never change........

Crooked politics.... I'm so proud of my hometown...... lol

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27babybear(4 comments)posted 6 years ago

Obviously purchasing the oakhill building was a good move or else all these people wouldn't have accepted money to try and stop the purchase you always can save in the long run when buy versus rent especially if you have to pay for the repairs on a building you don't own. Wake up idiots, maybe ludt was really what was best for the county, you don't see his name on the indictment.

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28davidjohn(144 comments)posted 6 years ago

it is easy to beat up the cafaros,but is it possible that these indictments are more political then criminal?

what do all these people have in common, they are political enemies of tablack, traficanti and gains.

what did yavorcik have to do with oak hill? maybe nothing. but he did run against gains.

and if you read the indictments it says mcnally started a pattern of corrupt activity in february 2004. i seemed to recall that mcnally was not even a commissioner yet. i don't believe he even won his primary election yet.

this stuff is embarassing for our county.but before we get out the gallows poles maybe we should see what happens when the defense lawyers have at it.you know cafaros will have some mighty fine lawyers.

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29valleyred(1103 comments)posted 6 years ago

First off....
1. I was being satirical about the earthquake causing structural damage to Oakhill. However the MASS EXODUS of employees from that place afterwards certainly implies it. Ever hear the stories about the asbestos in that dump?

2. Don't call me an idiot because I am being sarcastic. Obviously you don't know when and when not to take someone seriously dude so calm down there buddy.

The purchase of that place was a mistake and the earthquake mess was just the first in a long list of problems we will see each and every year at Oakhill.

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30Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

Anthony Cafaro had this to say today

“I intend to plead not guilty to these meritless charges. I look forward to proving my innocence. The taxpayers of Mahoning County are now paying for the ill-advised decision to purchase Oakhill Renaissance Place. My warnings about the costs to the taxpayers have been correct. This unfounded indictment will not silence my opposition to irresponsible governance. ”

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31Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 6 years ago

"However the MASS EXODUS of employees from that place afterwards certainly implies it"

And when I look out over the ocean and see that ships dissappear it implies that those ships are falling off of the edge of the Earth.

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32sknirak(120 comments)posted 6 years ago

Yup! The whole shebang is gonna walk. Somewhere, the FIX is in. You can feel it in the bones.

Nothing ever changes around here.

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33VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 6 years ago

So, no one was surprised. Now the real news will be the number of convictions. This, and the fiasco in Cuyahoga County shows us how ugly one party politics can be. Again, Never trust a politician, especially with your money.

Term limits anyone? We may have to begin putting term limits on political parties.
You betcha!

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34CCmom(31 comments)posted 6 years ago

Davidjohn, I think you have made some valid points.

Definately political. Never heard Yavorcik's name before in connection with Oak Hill.

What a fiasco the Oak Hill money pit has been. We got duped.

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35Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years ago


It's something isn't it,..

I mean when you mention the players in this ordeal it just jumps right out at you that her name is missing,.. how in the Hell?

I mean she was direct center of the money disbursement and displayed more than mere persona non grata temperament about it.

To include not long after that her and John Reardon split in different directions like sweaty palms thieves that knew that perch was no longer kosher.

There's a couple more besides her and Betras that I saw as dangling on the hook too. But lets give it time for everything to start rolling before the bench.

Lastly had I been associated with flipping cards in this crony case. That Youngblood broad that pose as a Union steward. Would have had everything from wire taps, a total review of her associations.

To include a damn subpoena invitation to explain her rendition of the damn save the Boss sing-a-long.

No way in hell she's not a crooked crony and made a mockery of her vested position. Hell Zachariah, was the JFS Director and records show his guilt and not only did she work hand and hand with him,

But she { Youngblood } outright threw her damn self at prosecutions feet with that personal humiliation performance she panned to the public.

Never, met her before but via her asinine announcement. I've heard enough from her to know damn well, that there was more innocence locked up in Alcatraz than she has her hands in.

To wit I'd damn sure put her on the stand. That's even if it wasn't for anything but having her try to validate that statement.opposing Oakhill against the records accumulated over on Garland.

They presented her and I'd damn sure make sure the jury could detect just how far the range of that corruption reach goes.

I'd make her embarrass her handlers for having such a mole and incriminate her damn self all in one failed swoop.

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36ohdrama0901(53 comments)posted 6 years ago

Looks like there's too many people who are corrupt and crazy in Ytown...Noone can be pointing the finger at a certain group or classification of people because it seems like everybody has problems.

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37walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 6 years ago

Oakhill is not structurally unsound. From my previous post of July 1 regarding the evacuation fiasco:

When a building is subjected to wind loads, the upper floors displace laterally with respect to the base of the structure, causing an eccentricity of the vertical loads. When an earthquake occurs, the base of the building displaces laterally with respect to the upper floors of the building, causing similar eccentricity. They both have some effect on the building's main lateral force resisting system. The difference is the magnitude. In our area, there is a low risk of seismic activity so, overall, buildings are designed for high wind loading, which is highly possible to occur, as we have seen over the past few years.

The main hazard during an earthquake in our area would be the lateral displacement of secondary units, such as building veneers, interior walls not subject to wind loads, and interior furnishings such as bookcases and cabinets. Of far, far greater concern would have been the Mahoning county courthouse since there is severe deterioration in the tieback steel for the upper level stone and ornamentals. There are structures in downtown Youngstown that are significantly higher and thinner than this building, not to mention, that were designed in an era when earthquake loads were not well understood. No problems with any of them.

So, what we have here is a ruse perpetrated on the citizens of Mahoning County by a political hack (and minions) that are posturing for their present and future benefit. Most competent people can see through the ploy. The commissioners need to grow a pair and not let these type of thug activities overtake them. Tell the people to get back to work and stop complaining. And they wonder why union membership is at an all-time low!

Hospitals are designed for high sustainability in high wind loading and earthquakes. They will not fall. Unfortunately, what will fall are elected public officials that have cozy relationships with the Cafaro Family. Both of them will roll on the elected officials and they will skate free!

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38kfromtheburbs(23 comments)posted 6 years ago

They will walk with probation and maybe house arrest. This is why corruption runs rampent in not only youngstown but half the country. If it was you or i we would be looking at prison walls in no time.

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39ytown1(398 comments)posted 6 years ago

Money does buy you privileges. Need I say more. They will continue to thumb their noses at justice.

The rules do not apply to those with money and influence.

Even the crowd that follows them believe the rules don't apply, they are told we will lawyer up and cast the smallest of doubt, cop a plea deal and we all walk with a little slap on the wrist.

Valley justice at it's best, just ask JJ, he should be in prison, and his daughter Capri should have resigned in shame, we all know her seat was bought and who has enough money to even dare to run against her in that district?

I know I may have rambled a bit, but in closing it is about time we cleanse ourselves and the valley of the Cafaro political influence.

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