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What if Macejko is fired?

Published: Sun, March 4, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

It’s possible that Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko could win the Democratic Party nomination for Mahoning County prosecutor in Tuesday’s primary over 15-year incumbent Paul Gains — given the intensity of the race.

It’s probable that Macejko will either be fired or suspended without pay by Mayor Charles Sammarone for mobile phone text messages exchanged with an assistant prosecutor, Bret Hartup. Among the messages was one that was blatantly racist pertaining to President Barack Obama: “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?”

The text was contained in a 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.

Against that backdrop, Mayor Sammarone, who took office last August, is launching an investigation into the city prosecutor’s claim that he did not send the anti-Obama text to Hartup, and does not recall receiving it from the assistant prosecutor.

Legal advice

Although the records pertaining to Ally’s religious discrimination lawsuit remain under seal, the city of Youngstown’s lawyers (read that, Mayor Sammarone’s lawyers) are in possession of them and, presumably, have reviewed them with great care. It can also be presumed that the lawyers have briefed the mayor on all aspects of the case, including the city’s legal exposure to any discrimination cases that may be brought against Youngstown.

The investigation that Sammarone has launched is obviously designed to protect the city. It also indicates that he hasn’t bought Macejko’s explanation about the Obama text.

Thus the question: What happens if Macejko wins the Democratic nomination for county prosecutor on Tuesday and is subsequently fired or suspended by the mayor?

It’s a question that Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betas will have to answer, given that the nominee does not have Republican opposition in the general election. The deadline for write-in candidates is the day before the Nov. 6 election.

Macejko and his supporters will undoubtedly use the “Sciortino defense” to justify his not only remaining on the ballot, but taking the oath of office in January.

Prior to the May 2010 Democratic primary, Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino and other county officeholders, were rumored to be targets of a state investigation of the county’s purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place. During an interview with The Vindicator before the primary, Sciortino was asked if he would step down if he were indicted after the election. He answered that he did not expect to be indicted because he had done nothing wrong, and that he would not resign if he were indicted.

He won the primary and two months later was charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, bribery, filing a false financial disclosure statement, soliciting or accepting improper compensation, and two counts each of conspiracy, perjury and conflict of interest.

Sciortino went on the win the general election.

Charges dropped

The charges against him and other defendants were subsequently dismissed because the state could not secure evidence from the FBI that was pertinent to the case.

However, there’s a major difference between the Sciortino and Macejko situations. If the city prosecutor is fired or suspended, it means that the mayor’s investigation found that he either sent the racially-tinged text message about the president, or received it and did nothing to punish the person who sent it.

If Macejko wins the primary and is then punished by the mayor, the Mahoning County Democratic Party will be forced to do something to distance itself from the nominee. The best Betras can hope for is that Macejko will quit, which would then allow the party precinct committeemen and women to select a replacement.


1dennycrain(22 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

macejko will not quit under any circumstance as macejko is a pathological lying racist bigot sociopath! I am Rick Berger, and I approve of this message! hahahaahahlololol!!!! "Make a Difference" Semper Fi!

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2Askmeificare(1034 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Macejko has more legal problems coming up on him. I don't want Gains, but with Macejko an incredible liability... What can I or anyone do?

They are both a donkeys' ass.

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3AtownAugie(867 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Mr de Souza writes: "However, there’s a major difference between the Sciortino and Macejko situations." Very true: Jay "Bull Connor" Macejko did something -- several things -- wrong in the real world; Mr Sciortino did not, except in the unremittng fantasy world of Mr de Souza. (Seems the columnist has a plaque on his Vindy office wall: "My mind's made up. Don't confuse me with the facts.")

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4chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

does anyone know the date that the text message was first introduced in the Ally case? Not once have I seen it reported. I am wondering if former Mayor Jay Williams had knowledge of this message and failed to take any action against Macejko in order to get the Czar post.

It's Jay protecting Jay.

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5Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Like a bunch of elementary school students--they called me a name! He's picking on me!

If you are going to choose to elect or not elect someone based on an off hand comment about Barack Obama, that is pretty pathetic.

Italians are called all sorts of names, and no one here is whining about it. Slovaks are called all sorts of names and they are not whining about it. Irish and Greeks take enough abuse, but they do not whine about it.

How about we get back to talking about the job of the Prosecutor's Office, qualifications, and abilities rather than turn this race into a circus like it has been over a text message about Barack Obama!

Paul Gains. Jay Macejko. What have they accomplished, what is their background, who will do the better job for Mahoning County?

That is what this race SHOULD be about, not this nonsense published by de Souza.

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6WC(8 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I disagree....when you are weighing elements of a crime and deciding charges to be filed..if you are a prosecutor who equates an African American with "dime bags"....guess who is going to get charged. A person who makes an off-handed remark like the one reported and then is given that power and authority to take ones freedom cannot be in the prosecutors office.

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7Alexinytown(246 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

WC, I have a problem with the racist argument because it has been used too often to detract from the real issues and puts the accused on the defense to avoid talking about the real issues of a job.

Why beat around the bush on this. This area is ethnically and culturally divided, perhaps more so than most parts of the U.S. That said, I have heard "racist" remarks around the Mahoning Valley for decades.

And at this time when there is so much on the stake for prosecutor, the first time since 1996, we are going to drag it out in the forefront and make a big deal about this NOW?

Forgive me, but it is absurd.

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8WC(8 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

It was not so long ago that the character of the man who served as the Mahoning County Prosecutor left our county with an ugly, tainted reputation with justice a mere after-thought.
That was James Philomena. Justice has to be blind. Our elected officials have to be temperate and fair and not blinded by race or religion or , at the very least, reactive, emotional and vindictive.
In the Prosecutors job, you cannot separate the man's character from his job performance.

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9Billweaver480(61 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Paul Gains is running on his record, not only his record but his integrity and honesty.
The job of county prosecutor is not done by a machine, it is done by a person, one that has to be fair, honest, and compassionate, and of course follow the law. People’s lives are at his hand.
Gains said “We have to prosecute people of all colors, creeds, and religions, and we cannot have anybody with racist tendencies prosecuting these people,”

Paul is challenging the integrity of Jay Macejko. Jay has denied firing Bassil Ally, denied sending the racist text message, “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?”.
Jay has denied discriminating against Ally despite a $100.000 judgment entry that says otherwise. The man refuses to admit he is wrong. Evidence suggest otherwise.

Jay Williams was mayor at the time and should have fired Jay on the spot, but he hired Jay and it would not look good that the man he hired would turn out to be such a liability. After all Williams was looking for an appointment as “AutoCzar”. Could the Obama administration decision have been different had they known what was going on under the Williams administration?. Best bet for Williams and Jay would be to settle the case, then SEAL the records to keep it from the public. ?????? one can only wonder if this was the case, regardless for whatever reason the case was sealed.
But the Islamic society stepped in and demanded the records be unsealed so the people know the truth! The majority of the information has been released with the most damaging yet to come, however Mayor Sammarone has had access to ALL the files in the case and still has not done anything about it.
Overwhelming evidence shows that Jay Macejko is a liar, has discriminated against Bassil Ally, has been involved in retaliation against Debra Byrd who has a case pending against the city of Youngstown at this time.
Jay Macejko cannot be trusted to have the lives of both criminals and victims under his hand! He has lied to all the voters of Mahoning County.

I suggest you write Mayor Sammarone DEMANDING ACTION NOW! @

Or call Him. 330-742-8701

See the evidence at this site.

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101970mach1(1005 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Why is the part about "kool aid" considered to be racist?

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11juggygails(24 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

As far as I can tell Maceko had an employee with attendance issues. He tried to disipline him and the employee being an attorney decided he was going to file a suit against the City. The City did what they always do. Instead of paying out hundereds of dollars in legal fees they settled. Ally of course knew the City would settle because well he works in the prosecuters office duh! As far as the text message goes first of all lots of people send me text messages and pictures that are racist and inappropriate. They are forwarded along like spam. That doesn't mean that I am a racist. You cannot control what people send you. Also anyone can send a text message from your phone. If you leave it on a table in a restaurant and go to the restroom anyone can send anything. Just because a message was sent from someones phone does not mean that they sent it. I can tell you that I know that some of the people on here that are making an issue of this have been on the recieving end of Jays wrath and are bitter.

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12juggygails(24 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

BTW let's say hypotheticly the message was sent between Hartup and Jay. What about their constitutional rights of freedom of speech. If they did send it was it not a private message between two individuals? There are men and women that have fought hard for this country to guarantee me the right to wright the President a letter and call him an idiot. On what grounds would the mayor fire him??? No way the Mayor fires him for this.

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13Caliber380(43 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

The city already paid out $50.000.00 in fees to defend Macejko and the city- it's not just the text messages, there is a lot more to how he treated Ally. Macejko is guilty of discrimination.!!!
Don't forget the lawsuit that is pending.

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14praxis95(51 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Explain how a reference to chicken, kool aid and a dime bag is racist? To make the argument that the text is racist you have to assume that non-blacks do not eat chicken, do not drink kool-aid, and do not know what a dime bag is. Can anyone reading or posting messages make an argument for those assumptions? If you can it says more about your attitude about race then the author of the text.

Mr. de Souza what is blatantly racist about the text? Criticism of the president of the United States is as old as our Republic.

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15Billweaver480(61 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago



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16praxis95(51 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago


The majority of' 'kool-aid drinking, pot smoking fried chicken eating collectors of public assistance' are WHITE.

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17praxis95(51 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Facts be dammed, critical analysis unnecessary, welcome to the big lie.

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