Attorney for Oakhill conspiracy case defendant seeking dismissal
Motion: Yavorcik hasn’t received a speedy trial; McNally, Sciortino also seek counts dismissed
By David Skolnick
The attorney for Martin Yavorcik, one of three indicted in the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal conspiracy case, filed a motion to dismiss the charges contending he hasn’t received a speedy trial.
And attorneys for the two other defendants — Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally and Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino — wrote in another motion that they would be filing paperwork to dismiss “certain counts in the indictment” because their clients also haven’t received speedy trials.
Jennifer Scott, Yavorcik’s attorney, wrote in a motion electronically filed at 9:49 p.m. Monday with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court that the case should be dismissed as there was an 855-day delay from the date of the dismissal of the original indictment July 11, 2011, to the second indictment this past May 15.
State law requires no more than 270 days between indictments and the start of a trial — it’s 90 days if a defendant is in jail — unless the defendant waives his right to a speedy trial.
“The Ohio speedy-trial statute is mandatory, constitutional and must be construed strictly against the state,” Scott wrote in the nine-page filing.
The charges “arose out of the same facts and circumstances” from the first case, and “the time calculation must include the running of any time in Case 1.”
That similar, but less expansive, case was dismissed July 11, 2011, about a year after indictments, because prosecutors then were unable to obtain FBI tapes of at least one defendant that would have had to be shared with the defense in the evidence exchange, known as discovery.
About two weeks ago, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the prosecutors in the case against Yavorcik, McNally and Sciortino, provided the defendants with 576 hours of tapes from two confidential sources as well as summaries of recordings made by a third confidential source.
In Monday’s court filing, Scott wrote that the investigators involved in the existing prosecution are the same as in the first.
“Clearly, the state has not exercised reasonable diligence in this prosecution and is attempting to use the passing of time to gain an unfair tactical advantage specifically warned against by the United State and Ohio Supreme Courts,” Scott wrote.
Meanwhile, attorneys for McNally and Sciortino filed motions electronically shortly after 4 p.m. Monday asking Judge Janet R. Burnside to overrule a request by the state that the 270-day speedy-trial time be delayed.
The 83-count indictment against the three, who say they are not guilty, accuses them of being involved in a conspiracy to impede the move of the county Department of Job and Family Services from the then-Cafaro-Co.-owned Garland Plaza on Youngstown’s East Side to Oakhill Renaissance Place, the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center.
McNally, accused of criminal acts in his former capacity as a county commissioner, and Sciortino are Democrats while Yavorcik is an independent who unsuccessfully ran for county prosecutor in 2008.
The indictment charges the three with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and tampering with records.