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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.


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