Settlement reached in suit against Mahoning sheriff, major

By Peter H. Milliken


A settlement was reached Tuesday just as the jury trial was to begin for a 12-year-old civil lawsuit by a former sheriff’s department corporal against a former sheriff and major in the department.

The lawsuit was filed in 2001 by John Martynyszyn against Sheriff Randall Wellington and Maj. Michael Budd.

The trial would have been before visiting Judge Thomas P. Curran of Mahoning County Com-mon Pleas Court. The settlement amount was not disclosed.

The case was appealed twice to the 7th District Court of Appeals, and the Ohio Supreme Court twice refused to hear the matter.

In his lawsuit, Martynyszyn alleged false arrest and malicious prosecution in a case in which Budd arrested him on a criminal charge of passing a bad check, which later was dismissed.

The $550 check, which had insufficient funds to cover it, was a refund check Martynyszyn wrote in 2000 to a woman who demanded a refund in a dispute over work Martynyszyn allegedly failed to perform for her.

The defense said in court papers that Budd had probable cause to arrest Martynyszyn and that Welling- ton could not be held personally liable because he wasn’t involved directly in the arrest.

None of the parties or their lawyers could be reached to comment on the settlement Tuesday.

Wellington was Mahoning County sheriff from 1999 until his Jan. 6, 2013, retirement.

Budd was convicted in a 2005 federal jury-trial of ordering the beating of a county jail inmate, obstructing justice and personally roughing up two other inmates.

He was sentenced to 97 months in prison and was released last year.

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