State board OKs disciplinary proceedings against 4 Mahoning attorneys, including mayor
By David Skolnick
The Ohio Board of Professional Conduct certified cases for disciplinary proceedings against four Mahoning County attorneys, including the three convicted in the Oakhill Renaissance Place scandal: Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally, ex-Mahoning County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino and Martin Yavorcik, a failed 2008 county prosecutor candidate.
The fourth attorney being investigated is Dennis A. DiMartino of Austintown, who’s already been sanctioned by the Ohio Supreme Court five previous times and is currently on an indefinite suspension.
DiMartino’s latest complaint involves him taking a $10,000 retainer from a client and failing to advise that person of his ongoing and prior disciplinary matters.
The cases were filed by the Mahoning County Bar Association with the board, which certified them Wednesday.
The attorneys – none of whom are currently practicing law – have been directed to file an answer to the complaints. Once the answer is received, the cases will be assigned to three-member board hearing panels to conduct further proceedings.
A public hearing is typically scheduled within four to six months after a case is assigned to a hearing panel.
The panel then makes a recommendation to the full Ohio Board of Professional Conduct. If the full board decides a lawyer engaged in professional misconduct, it makes a recommendation to the Ohio Supreme Court, which takes final action.
Prosecutors alleged a conspiracy started in 2006 to impede the move of Mahoning County’s Department of Job and Family Services from a Cafaro Co. subsidiary-owned property on Youngstown’s East Side to the county-owned Oakhill Renaissance Place, the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center on the South Side.
McNally, in his previous capacity as a county commissioner, and Sciortino, both Democrats, took plea deals in the Oakhill case and were each sentenced in March 2016 to a year’s probation. Prosecutors say Yavorcik joined the conspiracy in 2008 when he ran for prosecutor as an independent and was found guilty in March 2016 of eight felonies.
Yavorcik and Sciortino have suspended law licenses as part of their felony convictions. The license of McNally, convicted of four misdemeanors, is inactive.