Lawyer for Cafaros files motion to dismiss Oakhill indictment

By Peter H. Milliken


A lawyer for the Cafaro interests has filed a motion to dismiss the Oakhill Renaissance Place indictment and a memorandum of law in support of that motion.

Both were filed under seal, meaning they are not available for public view.

Both filings are shown as Tuesday entries in the Courtview computer system maintained by the Mahoning County Clerk of Courts.

Atty. Ralph E. Cascarilla of Cleveland made the filings on behalf of Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., former president of the Cafaro Co., and his sister, Flora Cafaro, part-owner of the Cafaro Co., and the Cafaro Co. and its affiliates, the Ohio Valley Mall Co. and the Marion Plaza Inc.

Joe Bell, the Cafaro Co.’s director of corporate communications, declined to comment on the filings, saying all the company’s statements would be made in open court.

“We’re deferring all statements based on the wishes of Judge [William H.] Wolff,” Bell said, referring to the visiting judge from Kettering, who is handling this case in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

To avoid pretrial publicity that might bias potential trial jurors, Judge Wolff ordered that all nonroutine filings in this case be made under seal so he can screen them before making all or parts of them public. The trial is set to begin June 6, 2011.

A Mahoning County grand jury returned a 73-count indictment in the Oakhill case July 28. Five people and three companies are charged with conspiring to impede the move of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters to Oakhill.

Oakhill is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, which the county bought in 2006, moving JFS there in 2007.

The defendants charged with conspiracy and other charges are Anthony M. Cafaro Sr. and the companies listed above; county Commissioner John A. McNally IV; county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino; former county Treasurer John B. Reardon; and former JFS Director John Zachariah.

Special prosecutors filed a bill of particulars detailing the charges against Zachariah under seal Nov. 5.

Two other defendants indicted in the case are not charged with conspiracy. They are Flora Cafaro and Atty. Martin Yavorcik, who are charged only with money laundering in connection with an allegedly concealed $15,000 gift she gave to Yavorcik’s unsuccessful 2008 campaign for county prosecutor.

An earlier bill of particulars covering Yavorcik and Flora Cafaro was filed as part of the public case record.

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