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‘Viaggio sicuro’ J.J. Cafaro

Published: Sun, June 5, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Did he really think his vacation to Italy and England would escape comment? J.J. Cafaro, the man with nine lives when it comes to the criminal justice system, has left the United States of America with his wife, Janet, and with the permission of U.S. District Court Judge Donald Nugent.

While their itinerary has not been made public, it no doubt includes visits to Rome and London.

As he approved the motion filed by Cafaro’s lawyers, Ralph E. Cascarilla and Darrel A. Clay of Cleveland, Judge Nugent could have been thinking that a visit to the Holy See would do wonders for Cafaro’s soul. And, in England, a visit to the Tower of London would put in perspective the crimes he committed for which he paid a small price.

The Cafaros flew out Thursday and return June 19. J.J. has provided the U.S. Attorneys Office in Cleveland and his probation officer with contact numbers overseas. Yes, he is on probation until 2013 for pleading guilty to a single count of violating a federal elections law stemming from his giving a false statement to the Federal Elections Commission.

The case was initially assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen O’Malley, who fined Cafaro $250,000, 150 hours of community service, and a $100 special assessment. The fine and special assessment were promptly paid, and last September he completed the community service.

But because J.J. is under the restriction that he not leave the federal court’s Northern District jurisdiction without permission, his lawyers sought and received approval for the overseas jaunt. Judge Nugent got the case after Judge O’Malley was appointed to the federal court of appeals.

Learning moment

This could be a learning moment for a man born with a golden spoon in his mouth.

Consider his visit to Rome.

He and his wife would undoubtedly spend time in St. Peter’s Basilica and marvel at the frescos in the Sistine Chapel. Of particular interest should be Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment.”

As he looks up and ponders the magnificence of the artistry and its deep message, he may want to pray: “God, forgive me for taking the riches bestowed upon me and using them as instruments of corruption.”

But that isn’t the only place where he can make an act of contrition.

He should go to The Holy Staircase, located adjacent to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The stairs are believed to be the actual steps that Jesus climbed the day he was sentenced to death.

They were moved from Jerusalem to Rome on orders of Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine in 334 A.D.

There are 28 steps — equal to the number of years J.J. Cafaro could have spent in prison had various federal judges deemed that his bribing of a congressman, James A. Traficant Jr., his lying under oath in a federal trial, and his lying about giving $10,000 to his daughter Capri’s campaign for Congress warranted time behind bars.

He can make amends.

The true meaning of the Holy Staircase cannot be understood unless it is climbed while kneeling.

A prayer related to the passion of Jesus Christ is recited upon each of the 28 steps.

The first one is most appropriate for J.J. Cafaro. It says, in part:

“My Jesus, by the merits of your passion,

I pray that you inspire in me feelings of faith, of hope, and of charity,

and that you grant me pardon for my sins ...”


As he climbs each one on his knees, he will begin to understand the true meaning of penance. Half way up, his knees will begin to feel like they’re on fire. His back will ache. He will sway forward and back. He’ll worry that if he misses the next one, he’ll tumble all the way down.

If Italy provides a spiritual awakening, England offers a lesson of what would have happened to him had he lived in the 16th and 17th centuries during the peak period of the Tower of London.

It was used as a prison that housed many historical figures who had fallen into disgrace. Elizabeth I was held within the Tower’s walls before she became queen.

J.J. will understand the real meaning of the phrase “sent to the towers.” It’s something he has avoided, despite his serious brushes with the law.

It has been said that “God is an arbitrary God.” Perhaps.

(Postscript: “Viaggio sicuro” is Italian for Bon Voyage.)


1Briscoe(14 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

As the Valley's self imposed authority on revealing corruption, I find it interesting that The Vindicator has yet to post the link to Cafaro's court filing earlier this week or even write an article that accurately reports the details of the filing. Hey Bert and Vindy management, why don't you do some real reporting and investigate the improprieties alleged of Mr. Gains et al.

Here's the Mahoning County Court link to the filings. Interesting reading - but likely the content doesn't fit The Vindy's predetermination of guilt for the accused so it will be ignored and instead the readers are bombarded with Bert's frivolous diatribe:



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2ytown1(398 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The Key word Briscoe, is Alleged: Alleged by the lawyers for the Cafaro's who have the ability to spread innuendo and conjecture out to the public to taint the jury pool, and which the prosecution is prevented from saying anything, at least until the trial gets started.

I will post a repeat answer to one of your other posts that was almost Identical to this one and it still states my answer best to you,

@Briscoe, I only have to say is these lawyers are being compensated very well to make this all go away. So all that is stated in this filing is there take on any one event and by also adding a little twist to the facts that they and their clients are the only ones privy to, or did you remember the documents for this trial, that the prosecutors have presented, are still sealed?

Lawyers by their nature will do or say anything that may be even remotely plausible to possibly get their clients off. I take this also as a way to taint a jury pool so they are able cast the least possible shadow of a doubt, so their clients are found not guilty.

That is their job of course, but the fact that they can say all of this out in the public possibly tainting a jury pool is underhanded in my book. So I say we are focusing the investigation on the right people.

The Cafaro's have been a black eye on this valley for way too long.

I also question you Briscoe,
Are you an employee of the Cafaro's? What's in it for you in assisting them to get the word out?

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Bon voyage and bon appetit . . .. JJ has the exposure of his affairs during the trip under wraps . My guess is that he is appealing to the powers of clandestine business for support . After business JJ will be indulging in dinner and wine .

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4InColumbiana(63 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

@Briscoe -- read your links and they are a big "so what"? The only thing interesting is who is named on the defense team... Your boy Cafaro is in deep and it appears he knows it... as to the title, they can file what ever they please, it don't mean a d*** thing.

My question to Briscoe is this... Is Briscoe on the defense team propper (like office goffer who's still working on his grammar), a paid blogger or just a loser?

Briscoe, didn't you mean to say "self proclaimed authority" instead of "self imposed athority"? -- or do you seriously believe the people of the valley look to you to "reveal corruption"?

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5Askmeificare(1042 comments)posted 4 years, 10 months ago

Right on Vindy.

Right on Stan.

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