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Charges dismissed in state's Oakhill conspiracy case

Published: Mon, July 11, 2011 @ 9:29 a.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — Visiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr. has dismissed all charges against all defendants in the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal conspiracy case.

Judge Wolff took that action this morning in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court at the request of the special prosecutors from the Ohio Ethics Commission and Lorain County.

The prosecutors said their inability to obtain tape recordings held by the FBI and provide them to defense lawyers in the Oakhill case made it impossible to proceed with the case.

Prosecutors have a legal and ethical obligation to provide all relevant materials to the defense in the pre-trial exchange of evidence, known as discovery, whether it is incriminating or favorable to the defense.

The judge dismissed the 73-count indictment without prejudice, meaning the charges could be refiled later.

In the Oakhill case, five people and three companies were charged with conspiring to impede the move of the Mahoning County Department of Job and Family Services from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters to the county-owned Oakhill Renaissance Place.

Oakhill is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, to which JFS moved in 2007.

Those charged with conspiracy and other charges were Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., former president of the Cafaro Co.; the Cafaro Co. and two of its affiliates; County Commissioner John A. McNally IV; County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino; former county Treasurer John B. Reardon; and former county JFS Director John Zachariah.

Two other defendants were charged only with money laundering and not with conspiracy. They are Flora Cafaro, part owner of the Cafaro Co., and Atty. Martin Yavorcik.

The money laundering charge pertained to a purportedly concealed $15,000 gift she made to Yavorcik’s unsuccessful 2008 campaign for county prosecutor.


1redvert(2240 comments)posted 5 years ago

Who would of thought that something like this would ever happen in the valley AKA "the armpit of Ohio"

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2TheWholeTruth(9 comments)posted 5 years ago

To the Vindy: Time to do the right thing. Call for a special investigation of Paul Gains and his staff for ethical misconduct.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

I hear that there is a big party today at Cafaro headquarters on Belmont . Sponsored by no other than "Teflon Don" himself .

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4mark(60 comments)posted 5 years ago

Paul Gains should have been investigated years ago.

On another note, I wonder how much it costs Cafaro to get 73 charges dropped these days...

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5TheWholeTruth(9 comments)posted 5 years ago

I wonder how much the Oakhill debacle has cost the taxpayers of Mahoning County, Lorain County, and the State of Ohio! Not to mention the Federal efforts which cost all of us. What a disgusting waste of taxpayer dollars...

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6mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years ago

Come on everybody---------you can't honestly say that you are surprised by this decision.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

Has anyone seen Maureen Cronin lately ? She wont even be able to enjoy a cold beer today .

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8republicanRick(1743 comments)posted 5 years ago

Question: why doesn't the FBI turn over the recordings? I don't understand this ?

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

Let's restore the McGuffy Plaza and move back . . ..

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10Julie1(34 comments)posted 5 years ago

Granted, the Cafaro Plaza was a bad location ... but Oakhill wasn't the solution. I give credit to those who were against Oakhill. The old hospital is costing the taxpayers a fortune and there's no end in sight.

For sure, the Feds ought to investigate Oakhill ... not an investigation of those who opposed it, rather a criminal investigation of those who moved forward to buy it! Nobody in their right mind could have thought that the old hospital was a good idea for the taxpayers.

Who benefited from Oakhill? Follow the money and you'll find true criminal wrongdoing.

Plus Gains and his staff ought to be ashamed of themselves. Clearly they targeted their political enemies, any idiot could see that. What a waste of resources. Investigate those who supported Oakhill ... and investigate Gains!!!

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11Attis(1134 comments)posted 5 years ago

Who says crime does not pay? Just gotta remember to make sure it is a crime in the suites rather than crime in the streets when you embark upon a life of crime. We got plenty of both around here, but it is only the petty street criminals that end up in jail.

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12Julie1(34 comments)posted 5 years ago

By the way, TiredTaxpayer is absolutely correct. Today was supposed to have been a hearing on dismissing the charges because of misconduct on the part of Paul Gains and the prosecutors. But a week prior to the hearing the prosecutors themselves decide to dismiss the charges?

How patently obvious.

I wonder which of Paul Gains's enemies he'll target next. This guy is no good.

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13TheWholeTruth(9 comments)posted 5 years ago

TiredTaxpayer is right. The timing is just a little too convenient. The taxpayers deserve to know the truth about the prosecutorial misconduct that obviously occurred. Paul Gains and his staff need to be held accountable.

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14walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 5 years ago

It is patently obvious that you have some personal axe to grind with Paul Gains. Maybe his office put a lover of yours behind bars; I don't know. WIth the good ol' boy system that is in place in the Mahoning Co. courthouse, it is difficult to find an attorney that hasn't been slimed by the culture. I'm sure Gains has a few things in his past that are questionable. HOWEVER, the man was targeted by local organized crime figures and he was shot and nearly killed in that effort. So, he will probably keep getting re-elected until he really screws up. It is doubtful that this is it.

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15Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

OK, inquiring minds want to know . Who all got invited to the Cafaro Victory Party today ?

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16TheTruth4U(29 comments)posted 5 years ago

1. When the original charges were filed, the prosecutors had no knowledge of any FBI Tapes or evidence, they allegedly had enough evidence to proceed wit their charges and case.

2. In fact, they had nothing in the way of evidence that a crime had been committed. All persons are allowed to petition their government officials over their grievances, which is what the Cafaros did. This is a 1st Amendment right of all citizens. There was never a claim of money changing hands so no real crime was ever committed.

3. Paul Gains and his staff according to testimony and clearcut evidence stayed involved in the case after he publicly recused himself.

4. Today the hearing on the motion filed by Cafaro attorneys to show Paul Gains' misconduct, was supposed to begin. They had evidence that was clearcut that he had stayed involved after recusal, this would have caused the case to be dismissed and possibly caused Paul Gains to lose office and be disbarred.

5. Rather then have the prosecutor (Gains) found guilty and the charges totally dismissed by the judge for prosecutorial misconduct, the special prosecutor chose to use the recently discovered FBI tapes as an excuse to dismiss the charges.

6. This newspaper knows this and is refusing to report it this way because they were involved in the prosecutorial misconduct and the political vendetta being carried out against the defendants.

7. The real corruption in this case was on the side of the people doing the charging and the newspaper reporting the charges.

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17redvert(2240 comments)posted 5 years ago

If the local prosecutors could not obtain tapes that were in the FBI's possession does it mean that the FBI did not want their evidence wasted by the Ytown clowns?

Sounds like this whole thing may not be over yet.

Stay tuned!!!

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18Julie1(34 comments)posted 5 years ago

Outstanding post, TheTruth4You! I believe that's exactly what happened!

I've followed this case closely. I have a VERY difficult time believing that the prosecutors themselves would have dismissed the charges if they thought they could get convictions.

You're right ... it's clear to see .... they find out about the tapes and use that to fabricate a reason to dismiss the charges -- right before the scheduled hearing about the misconduct of Gains and those in his office!

As far as I can see, Paul Gains targeted his political opponents. It's obvious, and it should be investigated.

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19candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years ago

laughter in the gulag

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20paulydel(1607 comments)posted 5 years ago

If the FBI is holding on to those tapes I'd almost bet that they are looking for someone they believe to be involved in this that hasn't come out yet. The fact that the Judge dismissed w/o prejuduce may see this come back up again.

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21Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

The fat lady was singing at the Cafaro Victory Party and it's over . ..

Here is the proof . . ..


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22RoyDew(25 comments)posted 5 years ago

Paul Gains and his minions in the Mahoning County Prosecutors Office at it again.

The FBI should investigate the Mahoning County Prosecutors Office for public corruption.

Speaking of teflon, what about Paul Gains and Company?

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23ytownescapee(20 comments)posted 5 years ago

Finally! It is about time the people of Youngstown and Mahoning County speak out against the corruption that has been in Youngstown. And as far as the mob trying to kill Paul Gains, please. That was the best thing that ever happened to him besides City Confidential doing a story on it. If the mob wants someone killed, they do not miss. I would rather have the Mafia running Mahoning County because they did a better job of curtailing crime. Besides they only kill each other. There are many people who know what happens when the Mahoning County Prosecutor wants to destroy them.

And Walter, this is 2011 and just because a woman comes out and says what everyone but you knows does not mean she was sleeping with him or that she even knows him. Where have you been or maybe you are one of his friends or corrupt colleagues. Typical macho man. Would you make that remark if it was a male who posted that comment?

I would bet my last dollar that the Feds will not release the evidence because there is definitely more to come and it is about time. They can refile the charges against Cafaro and probably will. This has been going on far too long. If I were living in Mahoning County I would try to make sure that the next time they put some of these people in office they do not make the same mistake a third time. What does it take for people to get a clue? And Stan, no offense but I think you need a hobby.

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24walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 5 years ago

Reread my post. Not a lawyer nor do I know Mr. Gains. I did not say that Gains does not have dirty hands! Quite the contrary; I stated that the culture in the courthouse is a good ol' boy system that has been in place for many, many years and many lawyers have been brought down by it. But, my point is absolutely valid that many voters will keep pulling the lever for Paul Gains because he was a mob target. If you remember, he was hit and then the gun jammed. They wanted "Red" Philomena back in since he was selling justice in the courthouse.

Now, as far as Julie1 and the fervor in which she is criticizing the Prosecutor, I sense total disdain and disgust. It has the feel that it is a personal vendetta for Julie. After all, hell hath no wrath like a woman scorned!! I never said that she was sleeping with him or anyone in particular. I said "a lover". This could be a man or a woman; after all, it is 2011! And, you bet your a$$ that Walter is macho; no "manscaping" here! (Some of you people are really dense!)

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25sameolhub(56 comments)posted 5 years ago

Case dropped. Now all of you Italian and Cafaro hating folks can wine. If there was a case, they would have prosecuted. It's about time someone looks into Gains and his staff, there are probably some real surprises there... Hopefully the truth will come out, it usually does...

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26Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years ago

Oh some of the silliest Village people,..

Via position, premise and those implicated as co-indictee's this had to be a scrupulous case of cat and mouse. Where an array of convex claims have been assailed by all the characters. That those criminally cited as crooks have proclaimed they'd never canoodled the canary in a manner of their alignment with criminality,.. but it's sure not proven.

Where now after what I'd presumed was going to come down to a required process of prosecutorial procedure. Here in public opinion forum out comes those propaganda prefab's. Of the fickle " Oakhill bad and Garland is / was Gooder " finger pointing fobs variety. That's being assailed as the { mole mob } posturing as milling villagers. Trying to skewer the fact that the procedures of these proceedings were anything but " mob odd " from the very beginning,.. mass suppression was one of the biggest giveaways.

Which first of all via the fact by nature, scope and various implications. This case of criminally prosecuting those perceived as orchestrating corruption of governance case. Absolutely should have been and had to be a federal venture to begin with,.. hence this local dismissal doesn't surprise me a bit.

This is a fact's versus feigned fiction fest and the fraud fobs are pandering in full campaign mode. For which I'm sensing those thinking or proclaiming some " Shows over " campaign. Are in for a profoundly different twist of fate,.. for an array of indicators and inklings.

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