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Keeping secrets doesn’t help

Published: Sun, August 7, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Keeping secrets doesn’t help

When prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges against the defendants in what has come to be known as the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal-conspiracy case, the defendants and their lawyers were quick to not only claim vindication, but to accuse the state of pursuing a meritless case.

“From the very beginning, this case has been a politically motivated prosecution, and it has been a waste of taxpayer dollars. What a shame,” said Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., former president of the Cafaro Co., and one of seven people who faced various charges in the case.

“[Cafaro] was not only presumed innocent; he was actually innocent,” said Martin G. Weinberg of Boston, one of Cafaro’s lawyers. Another of his lawyers, George A. Stamboulidis of New York City, characterized the case as “pathetic.”

Air it out

And yet, when the opportunity presents itself to show the public just how weak a case the state may have had by unsealing hundreds of pages of documents in the case, it is the defendants and their lawyers who are fighting tooth and nail to keep everything under seal.

Of special interest would be the bill of particulars, which provide a detailed statement of claims by the prosecution, and which are routinely available prior to trial in Mahoning County. Indeed, the bills of particulars against two defendants were made available early in the process, which quickly led to motions by other defendants to seal the documents in their cases.

The defense lawyers claim the prosecution was unjust, and some have also predicted that the state will never refile the charges.

So, why continue fighting to keep the people from seeing what the judge, the defendants and all the lawyers on both sides have already seen?

Unseal the documents, and let the public decide if they were poorly served by local and visiting prosecutors and lawyers for the Ohio Ethics Commission who pursued the case.


1ytownescapee(20 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

i once had a high profile case in youngstown while paul gains was prosecutor and dennis serisky was assistant prosecutor< i think? the reason i put i think is because neither of these men ever said a word throughout the entire case. basically they stood around and let a detective literally arrest me, prosecute me, and sentence me. they basically are the drug task forces puppets. A 4 year old could of prosecuted this case. i was caught doing the same exact thing as a friend of mine. we both were caught trafficking the same amount of drugs. Now my point isn't we shouldn't
of been punished my point is the sentences weree so lopsided that it shows that this detective disliked me more than the other kid cause he was sentenced to 2 years in a minimum security prison and i recieved a ten year term. and no the first person didnt co-operate in no way shape or form and according to the vindicator i fully co-operated but still got the maximum sentence of
10 years. yes for the exact same crime? the only thing i was given was a judicial release after 7 years. is this a fair justice system. i,m now approaching my 4th year on probation without any trouble. the only trouble i got is finding a job. another example of the bias of certain people and the power the task force has over our judges and parole system is i have a friend who had 2 years of parole and was arrested 2 times in the first year while i haven,t been in any trouble. he was let off parole after 1 year for his good behavior and i have been turned down every attempt i filed to be let off. my supplier was sentenced to 4 years for supplying 2 drug rings. the guy that got off parole in 1 year was also sentenced at my time. i guess the cops liked him because this was his third trafficking case and just got out of prison in Pennsylvania for trafficking in
drugs and was out on parole. he got caught on 7 buys
having a firearm in his possesion, high speed chase, possesion of drugs, drug instruments, and he got a whopping 3 years. i guess we are not judged for the crimes we commit but how much our task force likes you and how much power they have in our courts. I never claimed i was innocent or thought i should not be punished for my acts all i wanted was to be treated fairly and because of a couple task force cops that were not fond of me this is the way it goes. So for all of you out there thinking about entering in the world of drug trafficking i can only stress make sure you stay on the cops good side cause if they dont like you its lights out but if they do you have hope. Believe me cause i had a top notch attorney that could not believe what he was seeing and had no explanation for me cause there was no explanation, it is black and white and there is no racial pun in this last statement cause we were all white guys from the suburbs. So all you black guys out there that think you get bigger sentences this is definately not true.


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