Ex-Mahoning Auditor Sciortino to be sentenced today on felony, misdemeanor


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A judge will sentence ex-Mahoning County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino today for one felony and one misdemeanor for illegally using county computers to organize two golf fundraisers for his re-election.

Sciortino, a Democrat from Austintown, faces up to 18 months in prison.

Sciortino pled guilty April 11 to the two counts – both are unauthorized use of property (computer or telecommunication property) – as part of a deal he cut Feb. 26 to resolve this case and another one in Cuyahoga County related to the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption scandal.

Cuyahoga County Judge Janet R. Burnside sentenced Sciortino on March 28 to one year’s probation after he pleaded guilty to a felony count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract, and two misdemeanors: falsification and receiving or soliciting improper compensation.

It’s highly unlikely Visiting Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove, who is overseeing Sciortino’s case in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, will sentence the former county auditor to state prison. But there is an outside possibility that she could send Sciortino to county jail for a small sentence.

Judge Cosgrove is not bound by the deal made in Judge Burnside’s court.

As they did when Judge Burnside sentenced Sciortino, prosecutors will be silent on his sentencing today by Judge Cosgrove.

Sciortino was indicted June 4, 2015, in Mahoning County on 25 felonies: 21 counts of unauthorized use of property (computer or telecommunication property) and four counts of theft in office.

Court documents state Sciortino illegally used county-owned computers and other equipment more than 300 times for political purposes and his personal DJ/band business and law practice, and had three employees help him.

The felony conviction was for using a county computer June 9, 2010, to open an email for a golf-scramble flier and an invitation for his re-election campaign scheduled for July 23, 2010.

The misdemeanor was for using a county computer for a prize list for a campaign golf outing emailed Feb. 16, 2012.

Sciortino had faced 11 felonies and six misdemeanors in Cuyahoga County including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, bribery, tampering with records and money laundering. The plea reduced that to one felony and two misdemeanors.

Sciortino was accused of being part of a criminal enterprise to illegally stop or impede Mahoning County’s purchase of Oakhill, the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center.

The Ohio Supreme Court suspended his law license “for an interim period” after the guilty pleas in Cuyahoga County.

Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally, a Democrat in his previous capacity as a Mahoning County commissioner, and Martin Yavorcik, a failed 2008 independent candidate for county prosecutor, were found guilty in the Oakhill probe.

McNally pled guilty to four misdemeanors as part of a deal before the trial, and received one year’s probation.

Yavorcik went to trial and was convicted of eight felonies. He was sentenced to five years’ probation with the first year on house arrest. He’s appealing his conviction.

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