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Former judge wants off probation



Published: Tue, March 4, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A federal judge still hasn’t ruled on a request made almost two months ago by a former Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge for an early end to her post-prison federal supervision.

Maureen A. Cronin, who was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville, Ill., on March 8, 2012, made her written request Jan. 6 to Akron-based U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi.

Judge Lioi had sentenced Cronin to 27 months in prison and fined her $4,000 after Cronin pleaded guilty to honest services mail fraud.

Cronin was charged with taking and failing to report an $18,000 no-interest cash loan from a local businesswoman, whose company had cases pending before her.

Cronin self-reported to the prison camp March 24, 2010, and was released March 8, 2012, “having received credit for good time,” Cronin wrote in her letter to Judge Lioi.

The federal judge had sentenced Cronin, 60, of Youngstown, to be on supervised released for three years, and Cronin has so far been under supervision for almost two years.

Justin J. Roberts, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted Cronin, filed a written objection to Cronin’s request Jan. 22, saying reducing her supervised release time “is not in the interest of justice ... particularly in light of the serious nature of the underlying offense.”

Cronin “has not identified any burden the supervised release imposes upon her other activities,” Roberts added.

In her letter, Cronin told Judge Lioi she has complied with all rules and regulations, while in prison and on supervised release and that her probation officer is aware of and supports her early-termination request.

Her probation officer, Kevin G. Clements, could not be reached to comment.

Cronin told the federal judge she became executive director of the nonprofit Midlothian Free Health Clinic, which provides free medical services to uninsured people, on Dec. 1, 2012.

In that position, Cronin said she writes grant applications and does public speaking and recruiting “in hopes of growing the agency.”

When a reporter called her on a clinic telephone line, Cronin said: “You are calling a business line to ask a personal question. That is totally unacceptable. Have a good day.” She then hung up.

An earlier attempt by a reporter to reach Cronin on her home telephone line was unsuccessful.

As conditions of her probation, Judge Lioi said Cronin must:

Participate in an approved substance-abuse treatment program, including alcohol and drug testing, to determine if she has reverted to substance abuse.

Refrain from gambling or associating with those involved in that activity.

Provide her probation officer any financial information he requests and participate in any outpatient mental-health treatment he orders.

Remain in Northern Ohio unless Judge Lioi or her probation officer permit travel elsewhere.

Since her release from prison, Cronin told Judge Lioi she has volunteered at the Community Corrections Association in Youngstown, where she has helped women make the transition back into the community and developed “a curriculum to train caregivers and social workers working with children of incarcerated parents.”

“She did a great job,” said David Stillwagon, CCA chief executive officer, who supervised Cronin’s work there. “She was able to effectively reach out to the women within the halfway house.”

Cronin was “able to share her real-life experience and what it is that she had to do in order to effectively reintegrate back into society,” Stillwagon added.

In her letter to Judge Lioi, Cronin cited a June 24, 2010, U.S. Supreme Court decision rendered while she was incarcerated, which said the honest-services fraud statute “is properly confined to cover only bribery and kickback schemes.”

Based on that decision, Cronin said her conduct “may not be interpreted as a violation of that statute,” but she chose not to appeal to vacate her plea based on that decision.


Comments

1formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Rumor has it that Cronin, Engler, Belinky, DeMaine Kitchen and Lisa Antonini have discussed forming a splinter political party called "The Democratic Non-Taxpaying Bribery Sexual Harassment Felon Screw-the-Public-Trust Party" Their rumored platform statement would be, "No matter how great the crime, Mahoning Valley voters will forget the time".

No comment yet from Dave Betrus or Bertie deSouza on this potential political challenge.

But Bobby Hagan said he might be interested in running for their precinct committee position if he can find the proper paperwork.

In response, Ron Gerberry did his usual Sgt. Schultz impression with his comment, "I see nothing! I hear nothing! I say nothing!"

And Timmy Ryan sent his usual $5 donation to the proposed party just in case they win something and they need to buy puppet strings to control his speeches supporting Obamacare and out-of-control deficit spending.

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2wastepro(46 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Can a convicted felon be in a position of authority for a Non Profit?

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3legaleagle(27 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

You two people who always blogg so rude and hateful should take a look at your own lives first. First and foremost, Judge Cronin admitted to her fault and did her time. Furthermore, she, I hear, is doing great job for this non profit clinic; learning about her going into CCA and telling other women about her life story is far more commendable than what you Mr. "Formerdemliberal" always write on this blog. You whomever you are a venom to this society.... We need to stand together and be more positive and learn from our mistakes than to keep reverting to hateful and hurtful comments. Gosh I sure hope you don't live in a glass house. One would hate to see what a grain of mustard might do to that glass of house of yours....

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4kensgirl(604 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Formerdemlib just said what everyone else is thinking. He has the b**** to say it. Mahoning County is still rift with political hacks and wannabes. It's passed down from generation to generation like a virus. Sad but true. I do hope Maureen does well though. She's one of the few who admits wrongdoing and takes the punishment. Not too many like her around these parts.

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5fcb(323 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

She did not get a $18,000 loan! She took a $18,000 bribe!! Also, the comment from "legaleagle". Sounds like you might be a lawyer and maybe want to get in on one of these judges positions so you can get yourself a,what did they call it, oh yea, a "LOAN"

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6legaleagle(27 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I am not a lawyer nor will I ever run for office Mr. "FCB"... EVERYTIME I READ ONE OF YOUR BLOGGS THEY ARE JSUT HATEFUL AND HURTFULL... PLUS JUST TO KEEP YOUR MIND AT REST I HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY THAT I DONT NEED A LOAN FOR... KEEP YOUR RUDE COMMENTS TO YOURSELF.

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7johnyoung(241 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

It is good to hear that Maureen is doing useful work within the community. She has a good deal of skill and talent that she is using to use to help people. That is exactly what she should be doing.

To all of those vindictive souls out there, if she was your sister or your cousin, or a close friend, would you be spewing such hateful words? She made a mistake, took ownership of it, paid the penalty, and now life goes on. While what she did cannot be excused, she does deserve forgiveness.

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8walter_sobchak(1910 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

legaleagle,
You make a good point about the disgraced Judge Cronin as some want "mercy for me but judgement for thee". However, she was an elected official who took an oath of office, accepted a "bribe" from a party that had business in her court. She knew what she was doing and threw it all away. I have little sympathy for her or any elected official with such ethics. You say she has done her "time", but not completely as she was released with a term of three years probation, which she is trying to have removed. She would best stay on probation for the entire term so that she would not be permitted in the new racino in Austintown. It would be prudent.

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9dmacker(274 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Forgiveness perhaps but no forgetting that in a position of public trust she violated that trust for personal gain.
My own experience with the former judge was that on the bench she was pious, vindictive and unforgiving.
She was never above threatening those before her court as witnesses or defendants.
She got what she deserved.
End of story.

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10YtownParent(324 comments)posted 6 months, 2 weeks ago

As @dmacker points out Cronin was no different than most sitting judges: "pious, vindictive and unforgiving" aka: arrogant. She's just being judged by the others by the standards she set, which the last time I checked is what Jesus Christ said will happen.

I find it interesting that she pointed out a legal strategy & Supreme Court decision where she could have moved to have her verdict vacated, and wants credit because she hasn't done so yet. I won't be surprised if she does sue when her times all up, whether fully serviced or not, and seeks to have it vacated and expunged so she can run for the same position she abused again.

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