Reardon to face election charges
By Peter H. Milliken
Former Mahoning County Treasurer John B. Reardon has been indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on two fifth-degree felony counts of election falsification dating back to 2006, the year he made his aborted run for state auditor.
The first count of the indictment, filed Thursday, says that on Feb. 23, 2006, Reardon, 54, of Columbus, knowingly made false statements on his campaign finance report to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office concerning his loans or balance on hand.
The second count says that on July 28, 2006, Reardon knowingly made false statements on his campaign finance report to the Mahoning County Board of Elections concerning loans he received.
Reardon ran for state auditor in 2006 but withdrew from the race in March at the urging of state Democratic Party leaders, before that year’s May Democratic primary.
The indictment follows dismissal in May 2012 by the Ohio Elections Commission of a complaint concerning Reardon’s receipt of $115,000 from the Ohio Democratic Party to pay off allegedly falsely claimed loans for his bid for state auditor.
The commission dismissed the complaint by Detective Gary Snyder of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office because it said the statute of limitations had expired.
Even so, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern said the party wanted its money back from Reardon.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said in May 2012 that his office’s economic crimes unit would review the matter. O’Brien’s name appears on Thursday’s indictment.
Reardon was appointed Mahoning County treasurer in 1998 by the county Democratic Party to replace George M. McKelvey, who resigned to become Youngstown mayor. Reardon then was elected county treasurer in 2000 and re-elected to that office in 2004.
Reardon, county Commissioner John A. McNally IV and county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino were vocal in their public opposition to the county’s purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place in 2006 because of what they said were uncertain costs of buying, operating and maintaining the former hospital complex.
Oakhill is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, which was built in stages between 1910 and 1972 and now serves as a county office complex.
Reardon resigned as county treasurer in February 2007 to become state superintendent of financial institutions.
He resigned the $100,984-a-year state job in May 2010 just before the Oakhill criminal conspiracy case brought indictments by a Mahoning County grand jury in July 2010.
Reardon was among five people and three companies charged with conspiring to impede the move of the Mahoning County Department of Job and Family Services from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters to the county-owned Oakhill.
JFS moved to Oakhill in July 2007 after the county had bought Oakhill in U.S. Bankruptcy Court during the previous year.
The Oakhill criminal case was dismissed in July 2011 after state special prosecutors were unable to obtain tapes from the FBI that had to be shared with defense lawyers in the pretrial evidence exchange.
Reardon’s lawyer, Lou DeFabio, could not be reached to comment.