Oakhill investation over, state AG says


YOUNGSTOWN

Nearly a decade after the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption investigation began, it is officially over – netting only a few convictions.

In a statement discussing the 56-count indictment against ex-Niles Mayor Ralph Infante, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said, “The Oakhill investigation has been completed, yielding significant successes.”

He added: “While some matters like Oakhill are now done – and we anticipate no further indictments in Oakhill – we will continue to help local governments, when requested, investigate and prosecute wrongdoing.”

In response to DeWine’s statement, Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, who initiated the investigation in 2007, said, “I have no comment. It’s out of my hands. I relinquished it way back. That’s why the attorney general’s office prosecuted the case. I’m glad they did what they did. We’ll see what happens up in Trumbull” County.

Prosecutors had contended there was a criminal enterprise created to illegally and unsuccessfully try to stop the purchase of Oakhill, the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, in 2006.

It was done, prosecutors alleged, to stop the county’s Department of Job and Family Services from relocating there from Garland Plaza, a building since demolished on Youngstown’s East Side, owned by a Cafaro Co. subsidiary.

Among the supposed big players in the Oakhill case, prosecutors alleged, were the Cafaro Co. and Anthony Cafaro Sr., its former president. Both were charged in a July 2010 case that was dismissed in July 2011.

Neither was charged in a second indictment unsealed in May 2014.

Read more about the situation in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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