A look at this year’s most impactful people

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John McNally

Top Ten Newsmakers At A Glance

  1. John McNally
  2. Ben Lupo
  3. Lyndsey Hughes
  4. Auditor Michael Sciortino
  5. John and Judge Theresa Dellick
  6. John Crea
  7. Carmine Cassese
  8. Judge R. Scott Krichbaum
  9. Simeon Booker Jr.
  10. Maurice Clarett

By Kalea Hall | khall@vindy.com

1 - John McNally

When you ask the future mayor of Youngstown how it feels to take on the position, his response is pure excitement, despite his long list of priorities.

John A. McNally will step into the mayor’s shoes when he is sworn in today, and he will leave behind months of exhausting work on his campaign to move on to many more months of work to tackle the list.

Right now, he is ready to focus on his main priority: Youngstown.

“Youngstown has its rough edges, but it has great people in it. It has proud people,” McNally said. “I look forward to picking up the pace and to make it a better place than it is now.”

McNally was chosen by The Vindicator staff as the top newsmaker of 2013 because of his run for mayor. The list also includes Ben Lupo, Lyndsey Hughes, Auditor Michael Sciortino, John and Judge Theresa Dellick, John Crea, Carmine Cassese, Judge R. Scott Krichbaum, Simeon Booker Jr. and Maurice Clarett.

The future mayor, who is an attorney, a former county commissioner and former city law director, always had the mayor’s title on his mind. In fact, he almost ran for mayor in 2004, but chose to run for commissioner instead. He said his main focus when he finally becomes mayor is economic development.

McNally said he also would like to expand mental-health and substance-abuse treatment to reduce pressure on the court system.

“I want to work closely with groups like ACTION and mental-health organizations to look at funding to help them and make them tax-paying citizens,” McNally said.

2 - Ben Lupo

Lupo was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2013 on charges of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act after he supposedly instructed one of his employees at Hardrock Excavating to dump thousands of gallons of brine, oil and drilling waste down a storm drain at 2716 Salt Springs Road. The waste made its way to the Mahoning River. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the case is still pending.

3- Lyndsey Hughes

Hughes, the city’s downtown director of events, special marketing and projects, is known for the sexual harassment allegations she made against mayoral candidate DeMaine Kitchen. She claimed Kitchen — the mayor’s former chief of staff and a former city councilman — sexually harassed her on and off since January 2011. She claimed she received unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal and physical abuse of sexual nature.

The city hired a law director to investigate the claim.

4 - Michael Sciortino

Sciortino, the Mahoning County auditor, made headlines after his charge for failing to drive within marked lanes was investigated by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The Summit County investigation into Sciortino’s May 26 traffic stop in Canfield Township showed that he failed a field sobriety test given by Sgt, James Touville, a Mahoning County deputy sheriff. Instead of receiving a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired, Sciortino received a marked-lanes violation and was then driven home by T.J. Assion, a sheriff’s department supervisor.

Sciortino accepted a new citation in October for failure to control an automobile.

5 - John and Theresa Dellick

The two first made headlines after John Dellick was charged in October with aggravated assault after an apparent road-rage incident. Judge Theresa Dellick released a statement contending her son’s innocence in the matter. A slew of other incidents involving John Dellick that he was never charged with also came to light. He was charged with aggravating menacing by Youngstown State University police in November after a woman claimed he made threatening comments toward her.

6 - John Crea

Crea, who ran for mayor this year and lost, was arrested in October on a probation violation for failing to report to a mental evaluation and for a warrant on three counts of menacing. He served 21 days in jail in September after he was arrested for threats police say he made to a security guard at city hall Aug. 30. He was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, but missed it, which led to the probation violation.

7 - Carmine Cassese

Cassese, the beloved, third-generation owner of the MVR restaurant, died in June from complications related to pancreatic cancer at age 57. He was known for his love of family and community.

8 - Judge R. Scott Krichbaum

Judge Krichbaum made news for his searing remarks while on the bench in high-profile cases, including the one involving the death of Teddy Foltz, a 14-year-old boy killed at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, Zaryl Bush. Teddy’s mother, Shain Widdersheim was sentenced to 15 years for failing to protect her children from the abuse. Bush received 33 years to life in prison for his actions. Judge Krichbaum went above the sentencing recommendation from the prosecution for both Bush and Widdersheim.

9 - Simeon Booker Jr.

Booker Jr. is a renowned journalist who was given an honorary degree at Youngstown State University’s December commencement. He is a former writer for The Vindicator who moved on to write for The Washington Post as the first black reporter.

10 - Maurice Clarett

Clarett is a well-known football player who graduated from Warren G. Harding High School and went on to play for Ohio State. He returned to the spotlight this month when he starred in the ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 production “Youngstown Boys” with former OSU coach Jim Tressel.

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