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‘Did he just call me a drunk?’



Published: Sun, January 15, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


During a recent candidate forum in Boardman hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police, Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko tossed out a comment about the man he hopes to unseat, county Prosecutor Paul Gains, which brought an audible gasp from the audience.

The comment was so inflammatory that it demands proof from Macejko. If the city prosecutor does not have the evidence, then he should publicly apologize to Gains.

It was while he was addressing the gathering at the FOP forum that Macejko apparently decided to go for broke. He was articulating the differences between him and Gains and detailing how he would operate the office differently when he said he would show up for work every day and that he would be “sober.”

Gains, who was in the audience, turned to Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras and asked, “Did he just call me a drunk?”

Betras replied, “It sounded like it.”

The reaction of the crowd must have felt like a blast of cold air to Macejko, because he quickly dropped that line of attack.

Accusation?

But for Gains, Betras and others at the forum, it certainly came across as the challenger accusing the incumbent of showing up for work drunk.

It’s a serious allegation that cannot be dismissed as simply the give-and-take of campaigning. Even in hotly contested races, there are certain lines that must not be crossed — unless the attacker is willing to back up his attack.

The suggestion that the county’s lawyer shows up for work wobbly carries with it the idea of an elected official guilty of malfeasance and worse, of putting the criminal justice system in jeopardy.

Any weakness on the part of the county prosecutor can be used by those who intend to finesse the system. The late Prosecutor James Philomena opened the office up to the highest bidder and as a result justice in Mahoning County was up for sale.

Gains successfully ran against Philomena by accusing him of wheeling and dealing on criminal charges and plea agreements. Philomena ultimately became the target of a federal government corruption investigation and ended up in the penitentiary.

Gains is well aware that in politics, perception is reality, which is why the suggestion that he isn’t at the office every day and that sometimes he shows up looped has him fighting back.

The prosecutor noted that Macejko has the video of his speech to the FOP gathering on his web site, but that it has been edited. A review of the video shows that the inflammatory remarks have been deleted.

Why? Is it because the city prosecutor knows that while voters have strong opinions about the candidates they also demand fairness? Or, is it because he has no proof that Gains is a “drunk” and that continuing to focus on the issue would put him in jeopardy?

Lawyers must adhere to strict rules of conduct established by the Ohio Supreme Court. Has Macejko filed a complaint with the disciplinary council of the Supreme Court and with the Mahoning County Bar Association against Gains?

The city prosecutor has a responsibility as an officer of the court to explain his comments — in public. He made them in a public setting. Simply deleting them from a videotape is not enough.

Questions

Indeed, Macejko still owes this writer answers to a list of questions that were contained in a column in this space published July 31.

The most significant one was this:

“Have you had any social or business dealings with Anthony, John J. and/or Flora Cafaro, or with any other executives of the Cafaro Co.? If so, what was the nature of the dealings?”

Four years ago, the Cafaro clan spent a ton of money trying to defeat Gains in his re-election bid because he had taken them on in court in the Oakhill Renaissance Place controversy.

The column also posed this question: “Given that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland have 2,000 hours of tapes from the surveillance [of the Cafaros and others], can you say unequivocally that your name will not appear on any related list? If it turns out that you were recorded in conversations or appear on videotape with any of the Cafaros or company executives, will you withdraw from the race next year and resign your position as city prosecutor?”


Comments

1kensgirl(643 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Gaines has proven his worth time and time again. Standing up to the mob was one of his greatest feats. Have we forgotten? He can't be bought and sold like previous county prosecutors. Jay is already running a dirty campaign. If he is starting out dirty he will finish dirty. No honor no shame. Just what we don't need in Mahoning County. No one wants to go back to the "old days"!

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2Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

If one were to look up the definition of sober in webster's dictionary you would see that of six definitions of the word only one involves abstention from alcohol. One definition is to be marked by earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor. Another is to be marked by temperance and seriousness. Yet, Bertram has assumed the most hurtful definition. I know jay Macejko and I know Paul gains. Honestly, I like them both. And I worked with jay and for Paul. I can assure you that at no time did jay or I ever question Paul or believe Paul to be a drunk. I also know my friend jay and I know the meaning he wished to convey by use of the word sober Is not as Bertram has decided to interpret. Perhaps the meaning taken by a word says more about the person hearing the word than the one saying it. Ask jay what he meant, don't assume it bertram.

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3TheLadyRides(23 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

@ Maillis: Then I would suggest Jay use the word "somber," not "sober," which to most readers means only one thing. And it's a low and unforgivable thing to say, since as you say, neither you nor Macejko ever believed Gains to be "a drunk." Guess it's politically OK to suggest it, though.

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4Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Lady rides. It is not ok to suggest anything without proof. Including involvement with the named family in the article. It is possible for two people to seek office, neither of them being bad people. This election should be about issues, not ad hominem attacks.

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5kensgirl(643 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

WOW!!! Damage control went to work right away for Jay. I think he might be our next Joe Biden. Voters aren't stupid. They hate dirty pool and it looks like Jay is taking his starting mark. Play fair or get out of the game. You know the saying about giving someone too much rope!

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6Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Kensgirl, damage control? I m not hiding behind anonymity. My identity is known.
Come out of the shadows.

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7ytown1(392 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I did not catch your name there Maillis.

After only 3 comments I don't have a clue who you are, so anonymity lives on, huh JJ, or is that you Anthony.

Any more envelopes with campaign contributions floating around.

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8Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

The last name is maillis. And as you can see I worked with jay and for Paul. Maillis, attorney...hmmm? Who could I be?

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9Tigerlily(500 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I was just about to point out, after reading more of Bertram's tripe, that "sober" is an often used word to mean serious and honest and earnest, and that Bertram (and seemingly other semi-illiterate politicians) have only stored the one meaning (not drunk) in their vocabularies. Duh duh duh, as usual.

I love that someone like Maillis comes on here under their own name and is attacked for saying the things they had to say under an anonymous name, but in fact it was their real last name, and work with Jay and Paul. Ha! Goes to show the seedy nature of those who immediately used the argument of anonymity against Maillis are the true cowards, and probably also most likely to spread lies as truth.

Like Bertram, and his befuddled misconceptions of what "sober" means.

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10ytown1(392 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Then you must be all that because I for one have never heard of you.

Not that you should feel all that important either, just because you may know someone does not really make you the authority on that person. Many of people have been duped by politicians in the valley over the years.

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11jokerman(6 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Maillis.....????? So, you're saying you're an attorney? Let me ask you this, you would agree with me that Macejko's use of the word "sober" certainly implied that Gains drinks. At least, most people associate the word "sober" with being alcohol free. Why would Macejko have used that particular word?

It seems to me that Bertram is asking Jay what he meant. If it wasn't meant to imply that Gains drank, why would Macejko edit it out of his video. If he did make such a claim (that Gains showed up to work inebriated) and has no proof of that, doesn't that open Macejko up to possible ethical trouble?

And, if Macejko meant no offense, then why isn't he saying it. Why does he send you to say it?

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12jokerman(6 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Tigerlilly, same questions to you as to the attorney. By the way, if Macejko meant some other, less used version of sober, then let him say it, under his own name.

How about all the Cafaro questions that Bertram has now posed on 2 different occasions. Macejko should have no problems answering a few questions, right?

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13Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Did I not already say that while jay and I worked for Paul there was Never a time when I had any concern for his sobriety. Not one. Further did I not say that jay did not mean to imply that there was such a concern. Why would such a statement be assumed by anyone to imply what Bertram says? The word sober, to many, does NOT mean "not drunk". Look it up. There is no controversy here. I also said I liked Paul. You should read my post. However, in the end, Jay is a friend, who I know. I know his heart and I know him to be a good, honest and decent man. Thus, I, on my own, wrote my comments to Bertram's article. The comments are mine and mine alone. The myth however that Jay has an association with the Cafaro family merely because others running in the past did, deserves no response. Yet, I doubt there is any involvement. I expect any citizen could attend one of his appearances and ask. this election is between two men and ultimately the voters will decide. Bertram is obviously trying to create controversies where none exist.

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14kensgirl(643 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Good job Johnyoung! Atty. "Malice" is putting his courtroom maneuvers to work to try and dupe the public. Sorry pal, doesn't work here. Not all of us are uneducated fools who squirm under an attorney's gaze. Everyone knows what Jay meant. Why did he edit it out of his tape??? Hmmm? He meant drunk and YOU know it!! Is there something he can legally or morally pull out of his pocket in order to prove Paul is unfit as a county prosecutor? If there is then bring it. Until then quit thumping your chest and trying to intimidate us with your law school bravado. Mahoning county people have lived through the worst that can happen to a community. We're sure as hell not afraid of wolves who come parading in sheep's clothing.

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15snydro0108(61 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Johnyoung, that was good!

Macejko meant "sober" referring to Gains being a drunk and there is no two ways to spin it. "Look up the word 'sober' and tell me what the REAL definition is." It doesn't mean "drunk". Actually, the Websters dictionary defines it as: "Not affected by alcohol; not drunk". So, Mr. Maillis, give me another English lesson, just AFTER you "sober up".

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16captainlinger(623 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

there's too much malice in these comments.

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17Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

For people who claim to be so moral and offended by the use of words, you have had no problem bashing me in your posts without knowing me. Apparently, your ethical standards only apply to others. I cannot say it any more plainly than I have. I have never bashed Paul Gains in any of my posts. In fact, I have defended him. I have also defended Jay. I was simply pointing out that Bertram seems to be on a personal crusade to hurt Jay Macejko without any real knowledge of what transpired. You all hide behind anonymity and launch ad hominem attacks. I will not.

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18jokerman(6 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

You're right Johnnyyoung. People really should question Macejko's temperment and behavior. From what I understand, Macejko said far worse things to Ally and members of his staff.

It took Ally filing a lawsuit to get an apology out of Macejko. Doubt if Gains will get one out of him. All Macejko has to do is say that he is sorry, but, he won't.

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19Tigerlily(500 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

The question of whether Jay would have called Gaines "Gay" does not work in this argument as that word has only two meanings: homosexual or happy. In the the context of the speech, Macejko said that HE would be sober. If Macejko had say HE would be gay, then I would actually interpret this to mean the definition of happy and joyful while he is at work (which is what he was talking about). So the question of "gay" actually doesn't win you any arguments here, Johnyoung (really? so nice that you think you know the heart of the person who first had a stake in the city--self-aggrandizing much?)

I don't know either of these candidates. I'm a reader who simply thinks DeSouza is a mud slinger, trouble maker, and that his "opinions" are lower than slime. He makes me want to clean my house, launder my clothes, and shower in extreme heat whenever I encounter his "thoughts" if that is what they should be called.

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20Tigerlily(500 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

For a man who just gave his employees raises in times of recession, Gains isn't sober. This does not mean "not drunk". It means his thinking is immoderate--go back to high school for vocabulary tests, suckers.

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21kensgirl(643 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

The point stands that Jay came out swinging with a low blow and fell on his ass. I give this round to Gaines.

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22walter_sobchak(1982 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Have to agree with johnyoung on this one. Mr. Macejko apparently felt he could be cute with a smug quip and, when he fell flat on is face, he is trying to backtrack and cover his misstep. Sort of like Bill Clinton saying it depends on what your definition of "is" is. But, it is apparent to me that Mr. Macejko suffers from foot in mouth disease when you factor in the Atty. Ally settlement. I'm not sure this is a good trait in the man wanting to be the chief law enforcement official in the county!

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23grand4dad(197 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Have to agree with johnyoung, walter and crlbk1052 on this. This remark just ruined any credibility he had.

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24paulparks(235 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

So much baloney! Neither of these individuals is worthy of the job. But that's the typical crap you get in Mahoning County!

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25dancinmoses(67 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Does Jay have a relative who is practicing law in mahoning cty? Any relation? Any collusion happening there? "Sober" or otherwise? this might be a subject to check out

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26mrblue(1068 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Mahoning County politics. A real joke. It will get worse as election day gets closer.

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27VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Amen, Mr. Blue, Amen.

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28Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Everyone working in the County Prosecutor's office knows Gains is a notorious drunkard but all are too afraid of the inner-political retribution if they would come forward. Furthermore, anyone within a downtown saloon (i.e Youngstown Club, Anthony's, etc) could easily verify Gain's regular drunken demeanor.

A bullet? Gains originally identified a janitor at the courthouse as his assailant. Then, miraculously a "hit man" admits trying to kill Gains but that his gun supposedly jammed.......gun jamming mobsters? Or was it really the janitor?

Bertram is truly a person who perpetuates the system in Mahoning County because he backs incumbants, without question. Bertram's buddy, Gains, is finally in a real political race with a viable and qualified opponent, after 15 long years..... Bye Paul!

FYI...about being a notorious drunkard...Gains is a public official and normal defamation laws do not apply to him. Gains needs to deal with the attacks or quit.

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29dancinmoses(67 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Let's stick to the questions asked in a previous post. Bertram needs to ask the city prosecutor WHY a woman who stole money from HER union was NEVER brought to trial? There is proof that she took several thousand dollars, hired Jay's wife to be her attorney and NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO HER. How is this doing the job and yet aspiring to do an even bigger job as the county prosecutor? SOMEONE needs to investigate this and bring justice to the citizens of the valley.

What Gains does after hours is NO business of yours or mine, he is doing his job. Jay seems to have the ability to pick and choose when to apply justice. Fair? I DO NOT THINK SO!!!!

How can he run for another office when he didn't do his job. Are there more cases where he has turned a blind eye to justice? Let's call a spade a spade .....

Investigate this, ask him about this cover-up, let's get it out in the open. Or will he try to edit this out too?

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30foghorn(9 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

can you give some more details on this situation you're talking about where someone stole money from the union? is the case still pending or was it dismissed?

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31briant(57 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Was Gains at the Mooney party after the State Championship??

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32southsidedave(4860 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

We could use this as a skit for a sitcom show...

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33nutz666(3 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

I have lived here for 55 years and I am repulsed by the stupidity of our so called leaders. Paul Gains is a glory seeking moron. Too many criminals have been left to ruin this city and the out lying communities. Mr.Gains has out lived his usefulness. His time has come. All public servants should be tested for drug and alchohol abuse constantly. No exceptions. If they test positive ,lifetime ban them from holding any public office or position.

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34Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

If these are "the facts," why didn't Gains' crew do anything with this case?

Gains had everyone involved in the '08 election indicted for BS; surely he could handle a simple embezzlement case?

PROBLEM is that there is nothing to prosecute and the story is just being spun for political trash. Nice try, but very, very unimaginative and lazy. Scandals are old news...just like Gains.

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35Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

"I also think after they test the employees for drugs and alcohol, they should have to take a lie detector test. Would anyone in Youngstown run for political office then?..."

Macejko would.

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36whit1980(10 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Sure Macejko would run for office because he's a narcissist. He has 6 employees, 2 of which filed discrimination suits against him, 1 which has already been resolved in favor of the employee and he still decided to run. He just cost the city thousands of dollars bc of his actions and still he decides to run. He hurt an innocent man with his discriminatory, malicious and racist actions and still he decides to run. He's just banking on the hopes that other people in the county either don't know or don't care that he's discriminates against nonwhite employees.

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37Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

"...He hurt an innocent man with his discriminatory, malicious and racist actions and still he decides to run..."

Not innocent. Just not that good of a lawyer and should be fired. However, the political Left is keeping this man's job. As a City Prosecutor one HAS the ability to staff assistant prosecutors at-will (unless you fall into a category which gets special protections the majority does not enjoy).

"... He's just banking on the hopes that other people in the county either don't know or don't care that he's discriminates against nonwhite employees..."

lol RACE BAITING???? Try again.

How about Gains' record when it comes to "nonwhite" folks? Specifically, how about all the people of color who are victims of crimes in cases that Gains loses or gets tossed from court because of his incompetence?...Gains really looks out of them, huh?

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