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What’s in store for Macejko?

Published: Sun, April 1, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko should have quit while he was ahead — because he now faces the real possibility of being fired by Mayor Charles Sammarone.

In mid-February, after a log of text messages between Macejko and Assistant Prosecutor Bret Hartup was made public, the mayor reportedly gave the city prosecutor, then a candidate for the Democratic nomination for county prosecutor, the option of resigning. Had Macejko done so, he would not be the target of an internal investigation ordered by the mayor to determine the source of a racist text about President Obama. (The city prosecutor could have claimed that he was quitting to spend more time on his campaign, and the mayor would probably not have pursued the matter.)

The racist text was contained in the log of messages from Hartup’s cell phone that the assistant prosecutor handed over to a federal judge who was presiding over a religious discrimination case filed by another assistant prosecutor, Bassil Ally. The defendants in the Ally case were Macejko, former Mayor Jay Williams, former Law Director Iris Guglicello and the city of Youngstown, The lawsuit was settled with a judgment against the city for $110,000 paid to Ally and a $4,000 salary increase for him. In addition, Macejko wrote a letter of apology to his assistant prosecutor.

Past column

On March 4, two days before the Democratic primary, the column in this space carried the following headline: “What if Macejko is fired?” The premise of the piece was that if the city prosecutor won the primary and then was terminated, the Democratic Party would be forced to re-evaluate his fitness for public office.

“It’s probable that Macejko will either be fired or suspended without pay by Mayor Charles Sammarone,” this writer opined.

By not winning the primary — he fell 561 votes short of ousting county Prosecutor Paul Gains — Macejko let the Democratic Party off the hook. But, he forced the mayor’s hand with regard to the insulting text.

Sammarone, a veteran city politician who took over as mayor in August, has assigned city Law Director Anthony Farris, police Lt. Brian Butler of internal affairs and Jonathan Huff, executive director of the city’s Human Relations Commission, to investigate the texts.

Ever since they were made public, Macejko has denied sending the one aimed at the president and does not recall receiving it. He suggested during the campaign that it was spam. Hartup has remained silent.

Here’s what the text says: “I just received my Obama stimulus package. It was 3 pieces of chicken, a pack of kool-aid and a dime bag. Did u get yours?”

Even though Sammarone was not involved in the religious discrimination lawsuit filed by Ally, he undoubtedly has received briefings from the lawyers who represented the city’s insurance carrier in the case. He also must be aware that the city is now vulnerable to future discrimination lawsuits, especially given the outcome of Ally’s claim.

The mayor is obviously trying to protect the city, and his launching of the investigation suggests that he did not buy Macejko’s explanation about the Obama text.

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras, who backed the city prosecutor in the primary after he had secured the party’s endorsement over Gains, has finally conceded that the 561-vote loss can be attributed to the religious discrimination lawsuit and the racist text. Youngstown voters punished the city prosecutor.

A mistake

But Betras knows that Macejko’s decision not to resign or accept an unpaid suspension after the texts became public was a mistake. His campaign message was overshadowed by the controversy. He tried to make Gains’ 15-year tenure as prosecutor the issue, but the incumbent was successful in putting his challenger on the defensive.

With last week’s release of all of the documents relating to the religious discrimination lawsuit, the mayor may find that the Obama text is just one issue that raises questions about Macejko’s credibility as the city prosecutor. He may have no choice but the fire his employee.

In retrospect, Macejko would have been better off resigning in February or at the very least agreeing to an unpaid suspension.

His future with the city isn’t bright.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Sure would like to see all of Mr. DeSouza's private texts. How about Mr. Gains texts and everyone else who is beating this item to no end? Mr. Gains won - that is punishment enough for Mr. Macejko.

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2Billweaver480(62 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Author, Perhaps you should read some of the evidence of Macejko being a pathological liar you may change your view. Look at how much he has cost the city residents and there is more that will be spent. He needs to go!


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3Billweaver480(62 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Jay has consistently lied to the voters, the vindicator and the mayor. He denies any responsibility for the discrimination despite evidence ruled against him. He denies sending or receiving the text message ( there is so much banter in the texts that one would think there would be a message that he was hacked if indeed it happened-- which we know it didn't)
He lied about cafaro- (((( quote: I can unequivocally state that I will not appear in any conversations or any other type of personal or private interactions with the above-named individuals or any executives of the company. My answer renders the second part of the question moot.")))) ____ Yet his phone has a text about keeping Iris an arms length away because her hubby works for cafaro that owns the pkaza and if the get the license(Jitso's) it will indirectly affect cafaro. ___ Macejko is a liar- He will never admit to doing anything wrong,
All he had to do was tell the truth, take it like a man ,apologize for his mistakes, Admit he did wrong and vow to be a better man and he would have won the election. So don't say Betram was shilling for Gains... Macejko screwed himself.


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4saddad(655 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

If you really want to screw a guy- get him involved in politics.

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5peggygurney(408 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Very true saddad, very true.

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6Westsider(269 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Hey everyone - the election is over - all the salacious details are out - this is now a personnel matter between the prosecutor and the mayor. There is a wide range of disciplinary actions that can occur - none of which are any of our business. Let's move on to the next issue.

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7Billweaver480(62 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

It is the business of every city taxpayer my friend.

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8dancinmoses(68 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Both of these individuals need to be fired. Bottom line! Let's hope the mayor does the right thing, clean house, he isn't fair and just costs the taxpayers money to defend someone that is corrupt.

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9mrchevy2141(1 comment)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Ok..it's time to call it like it is...Gaines saw he couldn't win his re-election on his "merits"..EVERYONE including the vindy KNOWS this so lets cut the B/S...and quit acting as if in shock about theses revelations...Gaines couldn't win unless he resorted to DIRTY POLITICS and a SMEAR CAMPAIGN...typical of y-town politics and another black eye. And we 're NEVER going to get rid of racism unless people black..white...orange...purple...etc. get off of making mountains off of molehills. A joke...joke...thats what it was ..texted between two people...gets thrown out into public view and it's the biggest thing since sliced bread...I would like to know how many "jokes"...yes..jokes...are texted between other races against whites or "Caucasians" if I MUST be politically correct... in these times so i doesn't offend anyone. Would I be surprised....NO..would I be offended..AGAIN NO.. why because it is what it is...people...A JOKE PEOPLE....c'mon it is what it is...Gaines should be ashamed of himself....he's showing now for allll the public to see that he can't win an election on a professional level and of his own merits....that being of showing cases he defended...how he has operated his office in budgetary ways...how he IMPROVED his office for the better of the community in fiscal responsibility.....and because sammarone wants to play to the good ol boys of y-town... he fires macejko...he should be ashamed also...He couldn't find anything towards any wrong doing except a text between macejko which was a JOKE..... what does he do??? he fires macejko.. then he shows at his press conference... that after he was called out by the media... and shows he doesn't have an answer for a reporter questions... he shuts down the interview...how professional WAS THAT!! All these reports of racism,,,white against black...black against white...religious issues...c'mon it's getting real old in today's society...people are more intelligent than whats being portrayed in the media and on television....Like I said racism isn't going to go away until PEOPLE quit using it as a trump card to controversy and the media quits playing that card to SELL...KUDOS to macejko for the ONLY one showing class in all this by keeping his mouth shut...I don't think I could have done that.....like I said in the beginning...it's time to start calling it for what it is...

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10Billweaver480(62 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr Chevy you are mistaken, Gains integrity can't be matched. You people that support jay need to understand that it was more than text messages . LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE! Macejko made a shambles of the youngstown prosecutors office. He treated Bassil and Debra Byrd like crap. Read the evidence!

It's not a smear campaign when the truth is told!


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11Nom_De_Plume(60 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

What'd you all think of the revelation that Leo Jennings was Gains' creative director for his campaign?

Doesn't that reflect on Gains?

Why did Bert give him a pass on that!?!

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