Seven candidates seek a Mahoning County Court judge seat


By David Skolnick


Seven candidates filed to run for the Mahoning County Court judicial position held by suspended Judge Diane Vettori.

Judge Vettori, who was elected to the position in 2002, didn’t file by Wednesday’s deadline to seek re-election.

Those who did file are A. Ross Douglass of Canfield, Matt Gambrel of Boardman, Christopher Sammarone of Canfield, J.P. Morgan of Canfield, Kathy McNabb Welsh of Boardman, Kelly Johns of Canfield and Molly Johnson of Canfield.

Judge Vettori of Canfield faces charges of mail fraud, structuring cash deposits and making false statements to law-enforcement officers. She is prohibited by the Ohio Supreme Court from hearing cases while her case is pending.

Federal prosecutors accuse Judge Vettori, in her capacity as a private attorney, of stealing at least $96,200 from the Glenwood Avenue property of Dolores Falgiani after Falgiani died in March 2016. She also is accused of depositing that money in a way that avoided federal reporting requirements and of lying to FBI agents when confronted about the matter.

She rejected a government deal to settle the charges, and prosecutors say they’ll go before a federal grand jury to seek an indictment against her.

The only other elected positions on the November ballot with a Wednesday filing deadline are two other county court judicial seats. The incumbents, Scott D. Hunter and Joseph M. Houser, both of Boardman, filed without opposition.

Meanwhile, there are 17 tax levies in Mahoning County that filed for the November election by Wednesday’s deadline.

The two largest issues are countywide.

One is a 1.35-mill mental health and recovery board levy, which is a 0.85-mill renewal and a 0.5-mill increase, to raise $5,429,527 annually for five years.

The other is a 1.85-mill, five-year renewal for children services to raise $7,616,189.

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