Yavorcik's fate in hands of three appellate judges


CLEVELAND

Prosecuting attorneys argued today that Martin Yavorcik, sentenced last year to five years’ probation for his involvement in the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption scandal, deserves to go to prison.

Also during that hearing in front of a three-member panel of the 8th District Court of Appeals in Cleveland, David Doughten, Yavorcik’s attorney, said the eight felony convictions against his client should be dropped because of improper venue and that a juror in the trial wasn't impartial.

Dan Kasaris, senior assistant attorney general, and Matthew E. Meyer, Cuyahoga County assistant prosecutor, argued for the prosecution. The two successfully prosecuted Yavorcik, who defended himself during the trial.

It is now be up to the three appellate court judges – Sean C. Gallagher, Kathleen Ann Keough and Anita Laster Mays – to determine Yavorcik’s fate.

Judge Janet R. Burnside of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court sentenced Yavorcik on April 22, 2016, to five years’ probation, including the first year on house arrest – he’s got about a month to go – as well as having his law license suspended for five years, requiring him to undergo alcohol-abuse treatment, 200 hours of community service, and ordering him to serve a seven-year prison sentence if he violates any of the conditions while on probation.

Yavorcik, a failed 2008 independent Mahoning County prosecutor candidate, was found guilty March 25, 2016, of eight felonies: 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.

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.

Yavorcik joined the conspiracy in 2008 when he ran for prosecutor. The jury convicted Yavorcik of illegally taking about $140,000 in bribes to kill the Oakhill investigation if he was elected. He lost that election by 38 percentage points to incumbent Democrat Paul J. Gains.

Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally, in his previous capacity as a Mahoning County commissioner, and ex-county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino, both Democrats, took plea deals in the Oakhill case and were each sentenced to a year’s probation.

For the complete story, read Wednesday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com http://Vindy.com

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