Martin Yavorcik has his law license indefinitely suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

The Ohio Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the law license of Martin Yavorcik, convicted of eight felonies related to the Oakhill Renaissance Place probe.

The Monday suspension was a formality as Yavorcik automatically had to contact the court and stop practicing law after being sentenced April 22 on the felonies.

In its unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ordered the Yavorcik matter be referred to the Mahoning County Bar Association for investigation and the start of a disciplinary proceeding.

Judge Janet R. Burnside of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court sentenced Yavorcik, a failed 2008 independent candidate for Mahoning County prosecutor, to five years’ probation with the first year on house arrest.

Yavorcik’s law license will be suspended for at least the time he’s on probation and forever, unless he can get the felony convictions overturned.

A jury found him guilty March 25 of one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy and tampering with records, two counts of money laundering and three counts of bribery.

Ex-Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino and Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally, co-defendants who took plea deals in the Oakhill scandal, surrendered their law licenses in March after being sentenced to one year’s probation each. They aren’t permitted to practice law while on probation.

McNally pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors, so he could have his license reinstated at some point. Sciortino pled guilty to two felonies – one in Cuyahoga County and one in Mahoning County.

Under state law, attorneys cannot practice law after a felony conviction.

Also, Yavorcik, who contends he’s indigent, was ordered to pay $6,028 in court costs by Judge Burnside.

Prosecutors alleged a conspiracy, including McNally as a county commissioner and Sciortino, both Democrats, started in 2006 to impede the move of Mahoning County’s Department of Job and Family Services from a property owned by a Cafaro Co. subsidiary to the county-owned Oakhill Renaissance Place, the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center.

Yavorcik joined the conspiracy in 2008 when he ran for prosecutor promising to kill the Oakhill investigation if he was elected. He lost.

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