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Fired prosecutor's personnel file shows few prior infractions

Thursday, April 6, 2017

YOUNGSTOWN

The personnel file of Martin P. Desmond, a key longtime Mahoning County assistant criminal prosecutor fired effective Thursday, shows only two prior formal disciplinary actions in his 13 years with the county, both stemming from his alleged insubordination.

Desmond received a three-day unpaid suspension notice in 2009, which was converted into a written warning; and a two-week unpaid suspension in 2013, in which he served one week and forfeited a week’s vacation.

Desmond also had commendation letters in his personnel file, including one from a state pharmacy board agent who praised his drug-crime prosecutions.

County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, Desmond and Desmond’s lawyer, Ira Mirkin, declined to comment on the contents of Desmond’s personnel file, from which materials were redacted by a Cleveland lawyer working for the county.

After placing Desmond on paid administrative leave March 23, Gains conducted a news conference Wednesday to announce he was firing Desmond from his $78,000-a-year job. Gains said he could no longer trust Desmond to act in the county’s best interests.

Desmond violated office policy by discussing a matter he was no longer handling with people outside the office, including a lawyer, who sued the county in federal court, Gains said.

That lawyer, James Wise, sued the county on behalf of a witness who declined to testify in a murder case, which was later dismissed.

Read more about the matter in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.