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Reese, Sciortino trade jabs over apology for traffic stop

Published: Fri, February 14, 2014 @ 1:00 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino’s Republican opponent questions if an apology by the incumbent related to a controversial traffic stop nearly nine months ago is sincere.

A Summit County Sheriff’s Department investigation of the May 26, 2013, traffic stop determined Sciortino “failed miserably” a field sobriety test, but was initially only charged with a marked-lanes violation although, after an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Sciortino was also charged in October with failure to control.

Republican Bill Reese, a former eight-year Canfield Township trustee who’ll face Sciortino in the November general election, questioned why Sciortino, a Democrat, took so long to discuss the incident.

“He wouldn’t have come out and apologized if I didn’t file papers last week to run against him,” Reese said. “I’m an opponent he doesn’t want to face. I have integrity. He’s apparently running scared.”

In response, Sciortino said today that Reese’s criticism of his apology is a “desperate move. He’s trying to capitalize on an unfortunate situation. I made a bad decision and my apology is very sincere.”

Since his May 26, 2013, traffic stop, Sciortino has refused to discuss the matter. He emailed a prepared statement to the media on July 3 and Oct. 24 apologizing for the incident while refusing interviews.

But he’s finally broken his silence.

In an interview today with The Vindicator, Sciortino said he had a “few drinks. I don’t know the amount,” and had taken prescription medication for allergies when he was pulled over in Canfield Township by Sgt. James Touville of the county sheriff’s office.

“I shouldn’t have been driving,” he said. “I should have known better.”

When asked if he was intoxicated, Sciortino said, “I wouldn’t use the word intoxicated. It was an impairment. It was a bad decision and a bad situation.”

For the complete story, read Saturday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


1AtownAugie(884 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Seems Mr Sciortino is adopting George Goble's famous defense: "I've never been drunk, but often I've been over served."

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2harleydog(243 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

You can always find Mr. Sciortino at Kennsington getting drunk where he works at night.

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3walter_sobchak(2674 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm going out tonight with the wife to hear Sinatra music, have a few drinks, but not get intoxicated, only impaired! Sciotino says he "made a bad decision". The question to the man who is the CHIEF FISCAL OFFICER of Mahoning County and in charge of keeping tab on the county books, how many other "bad decisions" have you made?

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4redeye1(5615 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

My bet is this wasn't the first time he made a bad decision. It was the first time he got caught.

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5Old_School(39 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

I guess falling asleep with a Wendy's frosty dripping in your lap is impaired, not intoxicated! Yet another one of the area's finest. I'll be voting for Mr. Reese!

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6borylie(946 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

We'll see if the Mahoning County voters vote for the "D" or for the person. Also, if the Vindicator endorses the "D" or for change.

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7Roger_Thornhill(1063 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

So Sciortino felt that now was the best time to apologize?!??

Reese is right, the apology only came because Reese filed to run.

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8petethepenguin(16 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

We also have to stop the leaking of information regarding where the next DUI locations will be. There is a network where this information filters through.

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9Millerh113(216 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Sciortino says he made a bad decision. You can't make any decision when your are drunk.

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