Former Mahoning County Judge Cronin dies; associates pay tribute

Staff report


Former Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Maureen Cronin, 64, died Sunday at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital of respiratory failure.


Cronin, who had served as the county’s first female general division common pleas court judge, had recently suffered a heart attack.

She served on the county bench from 1995 to 2007.

Cronin, however, ran afoul of the the legal system she served for so long. She spent about two years in federal prison from 2010 to 2012 after pleading guilty to two counts of honest-services mail fraud.

The charges resulted from an $18,000, no-interest cash loan from Flora Cafaro, part-owner of the Cafaro Co., in the back seat of Cafaro’s car, while that Youngstown-based shopping mall development and management company had civil cases pending in her court.

Before that, she had served as the city of Youngstown’s first female prosecutor.

Former Youngstown Mayor Patrick Ungaro, under whom Cronin served as a prosecutor in the city’s law department, recalled Cronin an “execellent prosecutor who was strong- minded and independent. I always respected her,” he said.

“She had an extraordinary legal career both on the bench and as a prosecutor,” said Youngstown Law Director Jeff Limbian.

“She broke the glass ceiling” in Mahoning County for women to enter public offices in the judicial branch of government, Limbian added.

Limbian said Cronin always had a passion to ensure victims’ rights were upheld.

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