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Judge Belinky's home, court searched



Published: Sat, February 8, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

Agents, judge mum on focus of probe

By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation with help from the FBI and the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office searched the county probate court Friday afternoon as well as the home of Probate Judge Mark Belinky.

Judge Belinky, who earlier this week filed to run for re-election, would not comment other than to read a brief statement that said: “On the advice of counsel, I will only say that since my election I have faithfully discharged my duties as judge of the Mahoning County Probate Court.”

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for BCI, said that agency is leading the investigation and that the FBI and sheriff’s office are assisting. She would not say what agents were searching for, only that they served warrants Friday afternoon at the probate court as well as Judge Belinky’s Windsor Road home in Boardman.

She said agents seized documents and electronic evidence such as computers.

Sheriff Jerry Greene also would not say what agents were looking for. He said they spent about two hours at the court.

Vicki Anderson, a spokesman for the Cleveland office of the FBI, referred any questions to BCI.

David Betras, county Democratic Party chairman, said he wants to see the legal process play itself out.

“I have faith in the court system. I have faith in BCI and the FBI, and I have faith in the voters,” said Betras, who also is a lawyer. “This will play out in their respective areas.”

Judge Belinky has battled tax problems in the past. In 2011, the IRS placed a lien on his home for owing $32,000 in income taxes from 2008 and 2009.

Judge Belinky and his wife were put on a payment plan to pay the taxes. The judge said then that the tax problems were caused because of income he earned when he closed out his private law practice, where he was self-employed at the same time he began his career on the bench.

Judge Belinky also had his paycheck garnished last year because of $20,000 he owed on a loan from 2008 plus more than $7,000 interest.

As probate judge, he makes about $105,000 annually.

Judge Belinky was appointed to the court in 2007 by former Gov. Ted Strickland to replace Judge Timothy Maloney, who retired. In 2008, Judge Belinky won re-election, beating Struthers Municipal Court Judge James Lanzo and Atty. Susan Maruca in the Democratic primary and then defeating Mahoning County Judge Scott Hunter in the general election.

In this year’s primary, Judge Belinky faces a challenge from Maruca again as well as Atty. Chris Sammarone.

In 1993, Belinky’s father, former Mahoning County Coroner Nathan Belinky, received a six-month jail sentence, with 150 of those days to be served on house arrest and 30 days to be served at Community Corrections Association, after he pleaded guilty to charges he sold drugs.

He faced similar charges in Trumbull County. The charges forced him to give up his position as coroner. He received an early release from his house arrest to care for his ailing wife. He died in November 1999.


Comments

1questionreality(372 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Whose ways are more "pompous?"

http://courts.mahoningcountyoh.gov/

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2questionreality(372 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmmmm....8 pages of parking tickets in the city over the years vs. Lanzo's one ticket. Who would the less pretentious person be?

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3glbtactivist(261 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

It is the Mahoning County political machine that is trying to get rid of Belinky and replace him with one of their own. Isn't is a coincidence that this did not happen until days after the deadline to run for his job. Only other on on the ballot is part of the machine. Now the dirt starts being thrown.

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4author50(1121 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Everyone who reads my posts know that I am no fan of the new Mark Belinky whom became a stranger to me over the last few years.

However, Mr. Gorman and his bosses ought to be ashamed to be bringing up Nathan Belinky's problems in later life.

It appears that this has been an on-going vendetta by someone at the Vindicator to slam Nathan just about every time Mark's name makes the negative side of news.

I remember the Nathan Belinky who survived the Battaan Death March and saved countless lives in that death camp as a POW and his most famous act - arresting Jim Traficant when Jimbo first got into trouble as Sheriff. It was funny seeing little Nathan cuffing Big Jim.

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5Roger_Thornhill(634 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Nathan admitted to what he did. It isn't as if Vindy is printing innuendo and rumor.

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6yaboo(1 comment)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey Joe Gorman, what have you ever done for the citizens of Youngstown? what does Nate Belinky's late life transgressions have to do with Judge Belinky's current issues....especially from 1993!!! Talk about mickey mouse reporting....stay on task! As far as Judge Belinky, he's got some personal issues to work through, but how well does his court run? nobody ever seems to ask that...and when Nate Belinky was one of the last doctors on the east side of Youngstown in the 80's to serve the people there after others had left for the suburbs, where was your trash talking then? oh that's right, you were probably still wetting the bed....

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7tnmartin(312 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I guess it would be useless to mention that in other parts of the world, there are actually more than one political party, none overwhelmingly dominant, and there is therefore some protection against this sort of inbred silliness. Rumor has it that the one-party oligarchy stinking up the Valley for more than half a century is no normally found except in garden spots like North Korea, Cuba, and China. Which have, come to think of it, similar policies and similar results.

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8kurtw(938 comments)posted 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I like the last post- the deficits of "One Party" control. I've been saying that for a long time. If we had an alternative to Mark Belinky from another party- another political culture- it would help everyone- we'd have a real choice instead of bringing in another Democrat Machine Clone.

Also, on a personal note, Gdog, your at it again. Whenever you read a post you don't like- you say the person behind it is "on the sauce". You did it in Post No. 5 and you tried it with me a few times, too. You know what I call a tactic like that- STUPID.

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