A judge rules Martin Yavorcik is indigent


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

CLEVELAND

A judge ruled that Martin Yavorcik, convicted of eight felonies in connection with the Oak-hill Renaissance Place corruption probe, is indigent, and she will have the public defender’s office appoint an attorney to handle his appeal.

Judge Janet R. Burnside of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court ruled Monday in favor of Yavorcik’s request. Prosecutors didn’t oppose Yavorcik’s motion.

In addition to not paying legal fees for an attorney for his appeal, Yavorcik also will be given a transcript of his trial at the state’s expense, Judge Burnside ruled.

Yavorcik, a failed 2008 independent candidate for Mahoning County prosecutor, had estimated in a previous motion that the cost of the transcript of his two-week trial was about $10,000.

Yavorcik, an attorney, unsuccessfully defended himself in his trial. The Ohio Supreme Court indefinitely suspended his law license May 2 because of the eight felony convictions.

A jury found Yavorcik 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.

Judge Burnside sentenced Yavorcik, 42, of Boardman, to five years’ probation with the first year on house arrest.

In an April 27 motion, Yavorcik requested the judge appoint an attorney to represent him at no cost and be given the trial transcript because “he is indigent relying on his family members to provide for his needs.”

Yavorcik filed a financial form with his motion listing $1,100 in assets and $1,808.50 in monthly expenses.

A jury found Yavorcik guilty of being part of the Oakhill criminal enterprise.

That enterprise supposedly illegally conspired in 2006 to stop Mahoning County from buying Oakhill Renaissance Place, a closed hospital building, and move its Department of Job and Family Services there from a building owned by a Cafaro Co. subsidiary. That effort failed and didn’t initially include Yavorcik.

A jury sided with prosecutors who said Yavorcik joined the conspiracy in 2008 by promising to make a criminal investigation into Oakhill go away if he was elected in return for money.

Yavorcik will appeal the convictions while prosecutors say they will appeal the judge’s sentence saying Yavorcik deserved to go to prison.

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