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Mahoning Prosecutor candidates defend their backgrounds

Published: Wed, February 22, 2012 @ 10:23 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains and his challenger, city Prosecutor Jay Macejko, touted their credentials and traded barbs in a live, one-hour televised debate.

The debate was this evening on 21 WFMJ-TV, less than two weeks before the March 6 Democratic primary, in which Macejko seeks to oust Gains from office.

Gains, who became county prosecutor at the beginning of 1997, is seeking a fifth consecutive four-year term in the $105,703-a-year job.

“Crime is down. Convictions are up. Prison commitments are up. We are a safer community than when I took office,” Gains said.

He cited the decline in Youngstown homicides from 62 in 1996 to 23 last year and a simultaneous drop in felonious assaults from more than 1,200 a year to fewer than 300.

“Nobody’s going to question my integrity,” Gains said, adding that he has given the county prosecutor’s office 15 years of scandal-free leadership, with no lawsuits alleging discrimination and retaliation having been filed against him.

Gains cited his experience as a criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor, in supervising a staff of 42 in the county prosecutor’s office, and in defending the county from civil lawsuits.

In contrast, Gains said Macejko, who has been city prosecutor for six years, lacks civil law experience and supervises only six employees, two of whom have sued him.

If he’s elected, Macejko said he’d enter the county prosecutor’s office with 14 years of experience as a prosecutor, compared to zero for Gains when Gains became county prosecutor.

“There’s a reason that people feel unsafe. It’s because we need better performance from the prosecutor’s office. We need to bring victims and their rights into the forefront. We need to support the good efforts of law enforcement,” Macejko said.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1joe1616(52 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

6 comments and all pertaining to either voting for Gains or bashing the endorsements? Can you tell us which of Gains' employees/friends you are? LOL

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2Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

"...Paul Gains is the best person for the position. Macejko dodged and lied tonight. I could have sworn he had a tele-prompt in front of him. His use of big vocabulary did not impress me at all. It was just a cover up as a fill in to try and sound big and important. When in fact he does not have the qualification that it takes for the position..."

Macejko is the only real prosecutor in Mahoning county. Everyone knows it...why else would almost ALL of the Mahoning county police department's publicly declare their support for him?

Jay did not use big words, Gains just talks like a 60 year old drunk who speaks too loud, too incoherent, and never stays on topic when asked a question....Gains made Macejko look almost too good. For example.....

When asked about 9 dismissed murder cases, Gains blabbered about working with the auditor over a budget......If I though he was using any logic when speaking, my follow-up question would have been...so what's more important for a prosecutor to attend to? Murders or budgets?...however when you realize it's Gains and he lacks the brain-cells to answer properly, I guess I'm just glad he showed up on time and was dressed.

Gains deflected all the dismissal questions, plea bargain questions, or generally anything to do with his criminal division with responses that he works alot with the civil division.....ok then, doesn't Gains have civil lawyers to help him, too?...what's more important helping the civil division or criminal division, Paul? Why can't Gains "work with" his criminal lawyers to ensure victims are properly represented and let the civil lawyers handle the tax liens and other boring bs that they do???


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3AtownAugie(701 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

After watching the debate, it now is *very* clear to me for whom I should vote. Thanks, WFMJ -- it was a great community service!

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4ahCanfield(5 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Agree with Bman.

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5ice(28 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Macejko why did you drop the ball on a case involving a cat business, maybe it had motive for you to do so, maybe not. But why did you drop it?
Gains is the only choice.

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