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Public has a right to details of suit against Macejko, city



Published: Tue, January 24, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

There’s no compelling reason for U.S. District Court Judge Christopher A. Boyko to maintain the seal on evidence submitted in a religious and race discrimination lawsuit, other than it was agreed to by the parties.

The suit, filed by Assistant Youngstown City Prosecutor Bassil Ally against his boss, city Prosecutor Jay Macejko, and the city of Youngstown, was settled last fall — just before trial was to begin. The sealing of documents and audiotapes relating to the case was part of the settlement that resulted in Ally’s receiving a $110,000 lump sum payment and an annual pay raise of $4,000. His salary is now $65,621.

Macejko wrote a letter of apology to his employee.

Given that the case is over, the Islamic Society of Greater Youngstown has filed a motion with Judge Boyko to have the seal removed. It can be, if the parties to the settlement agree.

Although the Islamic Society is seeking the release, it would seem that Ally would have no objections to the documents and audiotapes being made public. Thus, it’s up to the administration of Mayor Charles Sammarone.

Transparency in city government has been the hallmark of Sammarone’s five-month tenure, and we have every reason to believe he will come down on the side of openness. Of course, the mayor will follow the advice of his law director, Anthony Farris, who said in an interview with The Vindicator, “I don’t think we have any great secrets.”

Thus, there should be no hesitation on the part of the city to support the Islamic Society’s motion submitted by Atty. Scott R. Cochran to make the evidence public.

“Records filed in a judicial proceeding are presumptively public, and may not be sealed unless there is a compelling need to do so,” Cochran argued. He noted that because the lawsuit was settled, there will not be a trial. Thus, fair trial rights of the defendants are not an issue.

In his lawsuit, Ally said he had been harassed because of his Muslim faith and Middle Eastern descent and that Macejko threatened his job because he took a late lunch break at 1:30 p.m. each Friday to attend a mosque service.

The suit said Ally was subjected to derogatory comments regarding his religion and national origin by a co-worker and another city employee.

Mosque services

Ally said he told his supervisors when he was hired that he would need an accommodation to his work schedule to attend Friday mosque services, the suit said.

The Islamic Society believes that making the evidence public will help promote tolerance for the Muslim religion.

Macejko, who is challenging Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains in the March 6 Democratic primary, said it was up to the law director and others to decide.

But, his opinion does matter, which is why we would urge him to come out in favor of unsealing the documents and audiotapes.

The public has a right to know why the city settled with Ally. Even though the $110,000 lump sum payment was made by the city’s insurance company, does anyone doubt that it will affect future premiums?

As for the pay raise, would Ally have received that amount had he not been forced to seek legal redress against religious and racial discrimination in the prosecutor’s office?


Comments

1walter_sobchak(1857 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

"Ally said he told his supervisors when he was hired that he would need an accommodation to his work schedule to attend Friday mosque services, the suit said."

Didn't Ally understand the work times for the job? Why couldn't he just use a roll up rug in his office and face east? Wish I would have made some demands on my boss before they hired me.

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2johnyoung(240 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

The fact of the matter is that Macejko, a lawyer, violated the rights afforded to Ally by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. As a lawyer and an administrator, he should have known better. The city had afforded Ally reasonable accommodations for religious practices, and Macejko revoked them without cause. According to the law, this is called discrimination, and it is a crime. Do we really need someone who violated federal civil rights statutes, and in the process cost his employer $110,000 in an elected or appointed office? Macejko should not only withdraw from the county Prosecutor's race, but he should also resign or be fired from his position as city Prosecutor. I'm surprised Mayor Sammarone stands for this type of behavior from one of his appointed employees.

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3pgurney(273 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I completely disagree that he should withdraw from the prosecutor's race. Nor should he resign from his current position.

IMO, this employee should not have been hired if he couldn't work the hours that the job required. NO special concessions should have been afforded him. There is a time and a place for religion and religious practices and it is not during previously set work hours.

And before anyone asks, I am a Christian, and I say the same thing about our religious practices as well - there is a time and a place.

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4johnyoung(240 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

pgurney:

I respect your opinion, but unfortunately it is in disagreement with federal law. One of the duties of an administrator, especially one who is supposed to know the law, is to conduct his or her office in such a manner so as to avoid these types of problems for the employer. Macejko could have taken another approach if he felt strongly enough that Ally's work schedule needed be changed from what the city previously approved. But instead he chose to violate the law.

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5walter_sobchak(1857 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

johnyoung,
Atty. Macejko could have easily provided many accommodations to Atty. Ally. Just as I hang a crucifix in my office, I feel the simplest would be to allow Atty. Ally to hang a picture of MoeHammed in his office. THAT would take care of it.

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6johnyoung(240 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe these idiots should lobby their congressional representatives to once again make discrimination legal. That way, Macejko would be on the right side of the law.

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7johnyoung(240 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

First of all, I didn't hear Ally's name mentioned anywhere in the Court petition to unseal the records. The agreed upon stipulation to seal the record was obviously a request not by Ally, but by the Defendants (City of Youngstown and Macejko) to further insulate them from 'the court of public opinion'. Now, at least one group (Islamic Society) feels that the public interest is best served if the record is released and the public knows more about the moral and ethical behavior of the now candidate for County Prosecutor. How does this constitute Ally "breaking the agreement"?

Just as when the Vindicator and other news media organizations petitioned to unseal the Oak Hill court records, any aggrieved party has a right to file such a petition.

Face it folks, Ally received the settlement he did because he was discriminated against at the behest of Macejko; acting as a representative of his employer, the city of Youngstown. There's just no other way to spin it!

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8whit1980(10 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

WOW! What happened is between Ally and Macejko??? Well I, as a voter, want to know what exactly Macejko did to discriminate. He already lost my vote by the fact that he discriminated. But I want to know how egregious his conduct was. And the public should know! How sick and twisted that anyone would try to justify racism, which is what discrimination is. He did something that cost the city a ton of money and his suitability as a prosecutor, a defender of rights and law, is now called into question. There's no way anybody can construe THAT any other way.

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9johnyoung(240 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Whether Ally is in favor or not in favor of unsealing the records is irrelevant. The opportunity to oppose the motion to unseal is that of the defendant City of Youngstown. I predict that Macejko's stock has dropped so low that the Mayor and law director will not oppose and the Court will then have no compelling reason to continue the seal order, effectively throwing Macejko under the bus. Hopefully this will happen before the primary election. when the public gets a first-hand look at what went on, they will be appalled at the behavior of Macejko and some members of his staff. In any event, he will eventually either resign or be released from his current position. Trust me on this one.

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10crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Here are the facts:
Jay Macejko was behind subpoenaing the financial records from YSU – ACE Union. He did this with the help of his long time friend Robert Bush, who is now working in the Jobs and Family Services. State Highway Patrol Trooper Halligan and Lt. Cretella from YSU Police tried to strong arm the current treasurer for the financial records of the union. When the treasurer refused to comply, the state trooper handed the current treasurer the business card of Jay Macejko and his phone number hand written on the back. This happened May 4th of 2010. Her instructions were to call Jay, he wanted to talk to her privately. She refused so they went to the Grand Jury. The subpoena can be found on line.
Jay Macejko’s wife represented Carol, the former treasurer, in Federal Bankruptcy court, where she claimed some of the embezzled money as a loan from the union. The Bankruptcy case was closed in May of 2010. The Grand Jury subpoena came out on June 8th. On June 11th the criminal forensic audit was released and it was clearly stated that Carol embezzled the money. In a number of emails, Carol admitted to taking the money and that if anyone had any questions they should contact Jay Macejko’s wife, her attorney, at her law office. The county has these records. I am sure a public records request can subpoena them. The two involved in the cover-up were Jay Macejko and Robert Bush, let’s not forget there were colleagues when they both worked for the city.
FYI: the amount taken was $17,000.00
If you look at similar cases that have been in the news over the last 18 months, ALL were sentenced to jail, probation and had to make restitution.
Alright Vindy, let’s do the story BEFORE the March primary.

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11crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Sounds to me like the macejko supporters are willing to sling mud when they should be running away in shame!

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12crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This ISSUE is NOT going away. Quit running and slinging the mud. Let the public hear the truth, they have a RIGHT to know what really goes on in valley politics

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13Maillis(8 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

17000. = felony = PAul Gains jurisdiction, and crib k, u know it.

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14crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Maillis:

Once records were subpoenaed by Macejko AND he found out it involved his wife, he didn’t push for this case to go forward. So don’t blame gains, look a little further, Macejko didn’t want to explain how his wife was connected to this awful, blatant misappropriation of union funds, including how there were LIES in the bankruptcy case of the former treasurer, Carol.
Jay's wife handled this case for the former treasurer and lies were filed in the FEDERAL BANKRUPTCY COURT!

Think there was pillow talk, so let's sweep this under the rug and no one will know the difference?

As stated before, THIS will NOT go away!

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15crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

OHIO SUPREME COURT

DR 1-102. MISCONDUCT.

(A) A lawyer shall not:

……

(3) Engage in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude.

(4) Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

(5) Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

(6) Engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer's fitness to practice law.

A Lawyer Should Assist in Improving the Legal System

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

EC 8-8 Lawyers often serve as legislators or as holders of other public offices. This is highly desirable, as lawyers are uniquely qualified to make significant contributions to the improvement of the legal system. A lawyer who is a public officer, whether full or part-time, should not engage in activities in which his personal or professional interests are or foreseeably may be in conflict with his official duties.

DISCIPLINARY RULES

DR 8-101. ACTION AS A PUBLIC OFFICIAL.

(A) A lawyer who holds public office shall not:

(1) Use his public position to obtain, or attempt to obtain, a special advantage in legislative matters for himself or for a client under circumstances where he knows or it is obvious that such action is not in the public interest.

(2) Use his public position to influence, or attempt to influence, a tribunal to act in favor of himself or of a client.

(3) Accept any thing of value from any person when the lawyer knows or it is obvious that the offer is for the purpose of influencing his action as a public official.

Someone got some explaining to do Lucy!

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16moonie(5 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

you're giving everyone a lecture on ethics. amusing.

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17Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

This isn't going to hurt him any. His campaign got a pretty good boost from all those Mooney apologies and donations all around.

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18jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Ok, I have a few questions for all you Paul fans. This is the only thing you can come up with aginst Jay?? What about when Paul gave everyone in his office a raise with out having permission from the county to do so, did we forget this?? When was the last time Paul was in court to so his "JOB"? The last time I remember was when officer Hartzel was killed. I can't wait to see the comments on this one..

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19Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Gains is getting my vote for the only reason that matters around here: His particular corruption has got nothing to do with bribe taking. That's the best we can hope for in these parts. Sure he's got his problems, who doesn't? But anyone looking at him can tell he's not looking for an extra dollar and he's not looking out for rich friends. Too bad he couldn't have hired better quality help, though.

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20Caliber380(41 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Jimmy, I have another one for you on Jay to think about.. Google articles on Dave Imbrogno and Mill creek park, Jay was one that voted to give Dave $96.000 in cash and health benefits for one year... Have you seen details of Daves resignation?? It's all hush Hush to the public,, and one article stated to prevent a future lawsuit... Macejko is all about Hiding what goes on when he is in charge.
As for Gaines and his raises,,, I don't recall that officeholders have to get approval from Commissioners on raises in their office. Did you know that Gaines also came in under budget and gave back $8,000 to the general fund?
As for him being in court?? He is hired to run the office, that's what he does. He has lawyers that handle the trials.

Do you see what Macejko has cost the city and county taxpayers already?? He is not to be trusted!
My Vote goes to Gaines.

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21jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

The office holders in the county have to give a budget each year to the county commissioners. They the approve or deny the request. What Mr.Gains did was just give his people & himself a raise, then what wad left over went back to the general fund. Did you know that there are some employees in the county that are not part of a union & have not gotten a raise in 3 years? As far as his working, I run a business & I'm always doing my part to make sure its run right. Mr.Gains needs to get off his high horse and do his job he was hired to do.

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22Caliber380(41 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Jimmy- I don't think Mr. Gaines can or did give himself a raise. You need to do more research My friend.

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23jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

It quit clear you have no idea. Go to the courthouse and check the meeting records.

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24Caliber380(41 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Jimmy, Post a link to any news reports that Gaines gave himself a raise. It's clear that you have no clue... No go back and think about your friend Macejko and why the records are not unsealed? Perhaps Mr Macejko has quite a few office holders in his pocket?

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25jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Hey moron, did you not read what I said. You have to go read the minutes at the courthouse. They never post the meetings on any web sites. Really..... Some people just have no idea..

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26Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Say, I did wonder why we had to foot the bill to send that Mill Creek park fella packing for not ever getting down to business. That guy as good as won the lottery, and for no accomplishment at all. Did someone's big mouth get us in trouble with that guy, too? Guess it's easy to run your mouth when you got the tax money to bail you out. Course I guess every outfit needs one of those guys that know how to sew up the loose ends on the q.t. Shouldn't be the same guy who causes the problem though.

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27Caliber380(41 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh , I'm sure that if Mr Gaines gave himself a raise it would hit the media., Moron yourself!

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28jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

380 since your so sure the the VINDY prints everything why don't you just go downtown and see for yourself. Oh wait.. you can't read that's right. You may not find your way. Sorry.

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29Caliber380(41 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Jimmy, let Me get this straight, you are saying that the County prosecutor designates his own salary and can give himself a raise as he sees fit?
In other words if Gaines wanted to double his salary he could just go ahead and do it?

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30L0L(640 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

"Ally said he told his supervisors when he was hired that he would need an accommodation to his work schedule to attend Friday mosque services"

-This country needs to grow a pair and tell people that THEY need to accomodate their job/country/english language if THEY want to be here.

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31Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, Mr. LOL - whatever was told to this worker and whatever was sized enough to do the telling, it cost us taxpayers a bundle. Too his brain wasn't as big as his mouth and those nether parts youll be voting for.

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