Judge rejects motion to dismiss Yavorcik case, blasts attorney

By David Skolnick



The judge overseeing the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal conspiracy case rejected a motion from the attorney for Martin Yavorcik, one of the three defendants, to dismiss the case over speedy-trial issues, and took Yavorcik’s lawyer to task for the filing.

In a journal entry, Judge Janet R. Burnside of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court wrote that the request from Jennifer J. Scott, Yavorcik’s attorney, “does not provide the critical information upon which any speedy trial can be calculated.”

One example, the judge wrote, was “time does not run from the date of indictment,” which Scott’s motion does, but “time starts to run under Ohio law once there are charges filed against the defendant and the defendant is in custody for those charges. No information as to when [if ever] defendant Yavorcik was in custody for the charges are given.”

The judge added: “Yavorcik is in default of this court’s order to present a valid time calculation starting with his prior prosecution. Defendant’s filing was to be a simple valid time calculation so that the defendant’s position on this issue could be compared with the state’s position.”

State law requires no more than 270 days between the day a defendant is in custody for charges and the start of a trial, 90 days if a defendant is in custody. That changes if a defendant waives his right to a speedy trial.

In a Monday motion, Scott wrote that the 27 felony counts against Yavorcik — a failed 2008 independent candidate for Mahoning County prosecutor — should be dismissed because he didn’t receive a speedy trial.

Scott also wrote in that motion that it’s been 855 days from the date of the dismissal of an original indictment, July 11, 2011, to the second indictment this past May 15.

The first indictment was dismissed, with the option of refiling, because prosecutors at the time were unable to obtain FBI tapes of at least one defendant that would have had to be shared with the defense.

Two weeks ago, prosecutors gave the three defendants 576 hours of tapes from two confidential sources and summaries of recordings made by a third confidential source.

Attorneys for the two other defendants — Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally and Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino, both Democrats — 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.

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.

The indictment charges the three with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and tampering with records. McNally is accused of criminal acts in his former capacity as a county commissioner.

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