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Gains reigns in tight Mahoning race, fending off Macejko



Published: Wed, March 7, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Truth shall set you free

By PETER H. MILLIKEN

milliken@vindy.com

photo

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains celebrates his winning re-election during a gathering Tuesday night at Cafe Cimmento. Gains narrowly defeated challenger Jay Macejko, who had the county Democratic Party central committee endorsement, to win a fifth term.

YOUNGSTOWN

Paul J. Gains won a fifth consecutive four-year term as Mahoning County prosecutor in the hotly contested Democratic primary by a mere 561 votes.

City Prosecutor Jay Macejko, who had the county Democratic Party central committee endorsement, challenged Gains, the 15-year incumbent county prosecutor, in Tuesday’s election. Macejko was the only locally endorsed Democratic candidate to lose in the primary.

Gains got 16,385 votes, consisting of 50.87 percent of the vote, to Macejko’s 15,824, which was 49.13 percent in unofficial results.

Macejko gave Gains his strongest challenge during his tenure as county prosecutor.

Gains attributed his victory to “Mr. Macejko’s issues,” including a derogatory text message about President Barack Obama in messages allegedly exchanged between Macejko and an assistant city prosecutor and a religious discrimination lawsuit against Macejko and the city.

He also credited The Vindicator’s “strong endorsement” of his candidacy.

“We’re going to continue to operate that office honestly and efficiently like we have,” Gains said. “Stay tuned,” he said tersely, without elaborating, at his victory celebration at Cafe Cimmento.

Macejko was an assistant county prosecutor under Gains before becoming city prosecutor.

The November election for prosecutor will be uncontested, except for possible write-in candidates, because no Republican or independent candidates will appear on the general election ballot.

“We’re disappointed. We had a huge number of supporters that came out for us. I want to thank the thousands of people that voted for us and realized that change was necessary, and I couldn’t be prouder of my family and everybody that came out for us,” Macejko said.

“We wanted to bring it home for them, but we just fell a few votes short,” he added.

“A message was sent from the people even in this loss that change is necessary and we’ve got to take steps to protect this community,” he said.

“They [Gains supporters] threw everything at us that they possibly could, even things that weren’t true, and we’re still standing and we’ll still be standing here. This isn’t the last time that you’ll see my name on a ballot. That’s for sure,” Macejko said at the B&O Station Banquet Hall, where endorsed Democrats and their supporters gathered, after all the county’s votes were counted.

However, he did not specifically commit himself to running against for county prosecutor four years from now.

“It was a hard-fought campaign. It was a 15-year incumbent. Paul’s had a good record, and the voters spoke, and that’s how it went down,” said Dave Betras, county Democratic chairman.

“I’ll be calling Paul in the next couple of days and sit down with him, and he and I will mend any fences and we’ll go from there,” Betras said. “I support Paul now 100 percent.”

Macejko was ahead among those who voted before election day by a 58.8 percent to 41.2 percent margin. The early votes, cast between Jan. 31 and last Friday, are the first to be counted after the polls close.

Gains attributed Macejko’s early lead to many early votes having been cast before the late February emergence of negative publicity about the Obama text message.

Gains and Macejko traded barbs throughout the campaign.

Macejko accused Gains and his staff of making “critical mistakes,” such as allegedly giving Jamar Houser the opportunity to kill Angeline Fimognari at St. Dominic Church on Jan. 23, 2010, by failing to oppose a bond reduction that allowed Houser to be freed from jail after he was charged with shooting up his ex-girlfriend’s house.

Houser is now jailed under $3.1 million bond awaiting his capital murder trial in the Fimognari case.

Gains faulted Macejko for initially filing only a misdemeanor assault charge against 21-year-old Samuel Crayton for punching and breaking the nose of a 66-year-old man in a West Side fast food drive-through lane.

Macejko said he initially filed the misdemeanor charge because he lacked the medical records to prove the serious physical harm necessary for a felonious assault charge.

When he got those records, Macejko said he elevated the charge to felonious assault, to which Crayton pleaded guilty and for which Crayton is serving four years in prison.

Gains faulted Macejko for contributing to circumstances leading to the city’s $110,000 settlement of a federal religious discrimination lawsuit by Bassil Ally, a Muslim assistant city prosecutor.

Macejko denied discriminating against Ally and said the case pertained to insubordination and work performance, not religion or religious accommodation.


Comments

1Ianacek(887 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Someone authorised to seek , on behalf of tyhe public, the denial of others ' freedoms , ought to be able to get more than a slim majority of votes .

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2Angerytaxpayer1(2 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Congratulation to Paul Gains.

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3AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

“ 'I'll be calling Paul in the next couple of days ... and he and I will mend any fences and we’ll go from there,' Betras said." After the way you treated Mr Gains, you now are going to bring some of your favorite hummus, offer a handshake and say "I've always liked you, Paul. C'mon, let's work together -- what happened was only politics"? Try that on your sycophants, Mr Betras -- not a man of true integrity like Mr Gains. (You may need to look-up the word "integrity" -- it seems to be a foreign concept to you.)

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4johnyoung(238 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

What is most disturbing to me about the election results is that nearly 16,000 mindless faithful democrat drones in Mahoning county were willing to follow the lead of a well-documented bigot and racist possessing no talent in the way of leadership or administrative ability. Simply amazing! It could only happen here.

Now that Macejko holds no political capital and Sammarone has plans to seek further elective office, presumably with the assistance of the democrat party, It will be interesting to see what action the Mayor will take in response to Macejko's behavior and the money he cost the city of Youngstown. A great deal at stake here for the Mayor.

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5Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Macejko, in most other parts of the country, would've withdrawn from the race humiliated and in shame. It is ironic that the same party that called voters a racist for voting for McCain endorsed this inept and proven racist.

Macejko and Betras, be thankful a place like Youngstown exists where vermin like you can somehow even have supporters.

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6Southside_Res(166 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Don't gloat in your victory. The votership of Mahoning County was nearly split on who should be our county prosecutor. Hopefully, this will be a wake up call that your next term should be your best one yet. I don't have high hopes. I think you've just been elected the last five terms because of a dearth of leadership in Mahoning County and nothing more. It's like the Middle Ages for Mahoning County, and no one seems to care!

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7palefoot(35 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Not a great victory for Gains, a very small percentage of people disliked his opponent more. When people don't like either of their choices, they tend to just keep the guy who already has the job.

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8JME(801 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Gains was just the lessor of two evils.
Macejko would have been a step backward to the Phelomena days.

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9Billweaver480(52 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

IF YOU ARE A MUSLIM OR A BLACK VICTIM OF CRIME, HOW CAN YOU BE ASSURED THAT JUSTICE WILL BE DONE BY THE CITY OF YOUNGSTOWN PROSECUTOR( Macejko)??- YOU CAN'T!!!!

http://sites.google.com/site/billweav...

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10ahCanfield(5 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

The valley made a big mistake. Gains looks like a fool. Don't celebrate because half of us don't want you. Drink some more champagne and head to work.

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11legend33(169 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Pepperoni pizza anyone?

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12palbubba(664 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Macejko wasn't the loser, Mahoning County was.

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13Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

"Gains attributed his victory to “Mr. Macejko’s issues,” including a derogatory text message about President Barack Obama in messages allegedly exchanged between Macejko and an assistant city prosecutor and a religious discrimination lawsuit against Macejko and the city."

Playing on the race card and dirty politics to get the win instead of the more important issues. Looks like another 4 years of career criminals walking the streets of Youngstown. I'm sure their celebrating also. Amazing.

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14Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

To bad but
Congratulations Mr Gains.

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15mahoningcovoice(11 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Dave Betras did nothing but bad talk Paul Gains this entire time. Calling him a drunk, lazy, scared, how bad he ran his office, how bad his assistants were, etc... Now all of a sudden Mr. Betras is changing his tone saying how honest and great a man Gains is and how Great his Office was for the past 15 years. WHY? Because now Betras backed the wrong horse and will have plenty of cases coming thru Paul Gains Office and now Betras wont be able to get all those sweet-heart deals (Plea Bargins) he was looking forward to with Macejko. A warning to ANYONE looking to hire Dave Betras or his law firm Dont Expect Any Great Plea Deals with Betras and his law firm representing you. Your Toast !!!!!! Paul is going to stick to the letter of the law and let Betras have it thats for sure no matter how much Betras begs Paul. Betras says "Im going to sit down with Paul in the next couple of days" who does Betras think he is ???? I would think twice about hiring Betras or his law firm for ANY cases that has to go through Paul Gains Office, cause if you do, expect to be going to JAIL !!! Its all part of the politics of this County... Betras backed the wrong man and now if you hire Betras or his law firm LOOK OUT.......So that pretty much includes EVERY COURT in this County except Youngstown and dont look for Jay to be there much longer. You will have NO Chance Whatsoever of seeing any great plea deal in Boardman, Canfield, Sebring, Austintown, Common Pleas Court, etc... as long as Betras or his law firm represents you. Just think about it ??? It has always worked this way in this County. Thats why the last Chairman did away with endorcements so this type of buddy system did not happen. But Betras being the person he is tried going back to the old Hanni days where backing the winner came with great power. Now Dave Betras and his Law Firm has NO POWER to bargin with Paul Gains' Office or any County Court whatsoever. Betras is still living in the day of the old Hanni times. He backed the only Attorney General in the History of Ohio who had to resign his office because of illegal money being spent, the money that Betras was responsible for. Then Betras was given the slap down the first time he tired to get on the board of elections. Betras is moving this County back to the old days of bad prosecutors and judges and once again Pain Gains took a bullet for this County and stood up to Betras. The ONLY way to teach Betras a lesson is to hit him where it hurts. IN HIS POCKET BOOK. And to do that you dont hire Betras or his law firm. Good luck Dave Betras you just screwed yourself and all your clients

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16peggygurney(391 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

NoBS said above, "I guess the neverending onslaught of negativity, half truths and spinning worked, and we're stuck with Gains for another term. As well as that Plea bargains will remain the order of the day, and criminals will walk out of the court room unpunished."

I agree.

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17Billweaver480(52 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Amazing how the Macejko supporters are still overlooking the overwhelming racist evidence against him. They have blinders on. There is no way that a black or a muslim can get a fair trial in the city any longer.

http://sites.google.com/site/billweav...

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18BenitaDrugs(42 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Like Spiro said, Jay was a nattering nabob of negativism.

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19Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I have traveled all over the country and world . And all in all ytown has some of the best Friday fish fries there are. They may not be the most costly or the fanciest .But we sure have some good ones. Just take you pick from above and enjoy

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20juggygails(24 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I love how Gains attributes his victory to him essentially slinging mud at Jay and not his skills as county prosecuter. Everyone that voted for Gains please remember your vote the next time one of the scumbags that he lets plead out commits another murder. I have no faith in the voters of this area.

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21Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

weaver

"Amazing how the Macejko supporters are still overlooking the overwhelming racist evidence against him. They have blinders on. There is no way that a black or a muslim can get a fair trial in the city any longer."

Your joking, right? I certainly hope so. That is about the most stupid comment I seen in awhile.

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22valleymom(36 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I am amazed no one has commented on that picture!!!

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23Ytownnative(1011 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Yea the picture has to go

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24praxis95(51 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

weaver

stop totting your own site. you can place all the documents you want on your site, but none of those documents are evidence they are pleadings in support of an allegation, not evidence. Since you like posting court documents on your site why not post the responsive pleadings.

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25Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Even in victory, Gains' people have to continue to attack Macejko. At least you realize consciously or not, the race was always about Macejko. And although beaten, Macejko came out of this the bigger person. Macejko stuck to the issues of prosecutorial incompetence and making Mahoning county a safer place. Gains concentrated on tearing down and absolutely smearing Macejko and never even addressed the material issues of the campaign; Gains made it entirely personal and dirty....And dirty politics still works.

The race is over. The people have spoken. Both Gains and Macejko can move forward with their lives.

Mahoning county gets four more years of Paul Gains. You lose with dignity and win with humility. Let's see if Gains can live up to that maxim.

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26CountryGirl51(189 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Its simple...The people have spoken. They choose Gains over Macejko ! Hopefully now everybody can come together and make it work !

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27Billweaver480(52 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Praxis, why don't you go to the pacer site and download the docs you speak of, in fact I will post them for you!

You know these Documents speak the Truth.

If Jay did not LIE to the people he would have won!

PATHOLOGICAL LIAR! Google it.

http://sites.google.com/site/billweav...

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28stonehead(25 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE
thats something the vindy should try someday..............

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29Billweaver480(52 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

All you Macejko supporters do you think that Jay should retain his position as city prosecutor despite all the evidence that he fired Ally, discriminated against Ally and either wrote or received the text messages in question?

Or do you feel he is innocent of it all?

And if it is proven that he is guilty of the above offenses should he be fired or step down as city prosecutor?

http://sites.google.com/site/billweav...

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