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Mahoning bar recommends ex-judge under investigation, rejects 3 other candidates

Published: Wed, April 2, 2014 @ 10:38 p.m.


Of the 12 candidates running for a judicial seat in Mahoning County or on the 7th District Court of Appeals, the county bar association labeled 25 percent of them as “not recommended” for election.

Those with the “not recommended” label are:

• Susan Maruca, the county Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate for probate court judge. The bar also didn’t recommend her when she unsuccessfully ran for the seat six years ago.

• Mark A. Hanni, running as a Democratic write-in candidate against incumbent Common Pleas Court Judge Maureen Sweeney. The bar also didn’t recommend Hanni when he ran for a court of appeals seat two years ago.

• David Engler, a court of appeals candidate running in the Democratic primary against Youngstown Deputy Law Director Anthony Donofrio for an opened seat.

The bar association bases its recommendations on “legal knowledge, professional experience, judicial temperament, integrity, diligence and professional responsibility,” according to a statement, and the results shouldn’t be considered an endorsement.

Maruca said fewer than 200 voted for her. She faces Christopher Sammarone and Mark Belinky in the Democratic primary. Belinky, who is under criminal investigation by the state, resigned March 14 as probate court judge. He is, however, still on the May 6 primary ballot.

The bar association “recommended” Belinky for probate court judge. The ballots were sent to bar members in late February with Friday as the deadline to return them, Hartwig said.

For more on how the rankings were made and the candidates' response, read Thursday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.


1listener(112 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"The bar association “recommended” Belinky for probate court judge."

How many scumbag attorneys are there in Mahoning County? Or the real question, how many scumbag attorneys were on the take with Belinky?

BCI needs to clean this up soon!

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2legaleagle(27 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Let me get this correct.......... Are you kidding me.... I cannot believe that this Mahoning County Bar would stoop to such a low level and recommend A disgraced Judge as their favored. How many more attorney's were skimming from the same pockets that Belinky was drawing from. I am embarrassed and ashamed of these fools.... I can understand Hanni and Engler not being endorsed, but not Maruca. I recently re-heard her stance on what she believes in and trust me when I say she is the most and best qualified for this job. Shame, shame shame on you Mahoning County Bar Association.

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3theguins(169 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Goes to say. Attorneys are like politicians. You can't trust any of them!

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