Defendants in Oakhill case seek more secrecy

By Peter H. Milliken


Defendants in the Oakhill Renaissance Place indictment recently have asked for additional secrecy regarding pretrial documents filed in the case.

The Cafaro defendants filed a motion under seal Wednesday for a court order to redact three references in the special prosecutor’s motion for more time to provide evidence to the defense.

That motion, accompanied by a supporting legal memorandum, also asks for a “protective order governing disclosure and use of bills of particulars.” The memorandum also is sealed from public view.

The caption of the motion, filed by Atty. Ralph E. Cascarilla of Cleveland, doesn’t explain the nature of the material the defendants want redacted, or edited, nor does it elaborate on the nature of the protective order being sought.

The motion and memorandum were filed on behalf of Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., former president of the Cafaro Co.; the Cafaro Co. and its affiliates, the Ohio Valley Mall Co. and the Marion Plaza Inc.; and Flora Cafaro, part-owner of the Cafaro Co.

On Thursday, Atty. Robert Duffrin filed a motion on behalf of his client, Atty. Martin Yavorcik, requesting redaction or sealing of a portion of the bill of particulars detailing the charges against the Cafaro defendants. The special prosecutors filed that bill under seal Monday.

The caption of Duffrin’s motion doesn’t specify what material he wants redacted or the rationale for requesting the redaction.

Visiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr. has unsealed many pretrial documents in the case at the request of The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV, but all bills of particulars remain sealed, except for the one detailing the money-laundering charge against Yavorcik and Flora Cafaro.

That money-laundering charge says Flora Cafaro gave an allegedly concealed $15,000 contribution to Yavorcik’s unsuccessful 2008 campaign for county prosecutor. Flora Cafaro is Anthony Cafaro’s sister.

Anthony Cafaro, the Cafaro Co. and its affiliates, Mahoning County Commissioner John A. McNally IV; County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino; former County Treasurer John B. Reardon and former County Job and Family Services Director John Zachariah are charged with conspiring criminally to impede JFS’ move from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters to Oakhill.

The county bought Oakhill in 2006 and moved JFS there the following year. Oakhill is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center.

The Oakhill defendants’ jury trial is scheduled to begin June 6 in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

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