Trial date for 3 in Youngstown corruption case to be set May 31
By David Skolnick
A May 31 meeting will determine the trial date for ex-Youngstown Mayor Charles Sammarone, former city Finance Director David Bozanich and downtown developer Dominic Marchionda.
The three of them and several companies owned by Marchionda were indicted Aug. 30, 2018, on 101 counts of purported corrupt activity.
The three defendants and their attorneys met behind closed doors for about 30 minutes Wednesday during a pretrial meeting with Dan Kasaris, a special assistant Mahoning County prosecutor and a senior assistant attorney general, to discuss dates for filing motions and the May 31 date for the next pretrial meeting.
The indictment accuses Marchi-onda, of Poland, of misspending at least $600,000 in city funds on personal items in addition to misusing money obtained from city, state and federal governments for The Flats at Wick student-housing complex and the Erie Terminal Place and Wick Towers projects.
Bozanich, of Youngstown, the former longtime city finance director until December 2017, is accused of assisting individuals, including Marchionda, who sought public funding for economic-development projects in exchange for money, golf fees, meals and trips.
Sammarone, of Youngstown, is accused of taking $10,000 in cash payments from a vendor in return for steering projects to that person’s company. Sammarone was mayor from August 2011 to December 2013.
The Vindicator reported in October 2018 that the vendor in question is Raymond Briya, a former MS Consultants Inc. vice president. He is a key figure in the probe as he is not only alleged to have provided benefits from MS – without the company’s knowledge – to Sammarone, but also to Bozanich to obtain work for MS, and is alleged to have received benefits from Marchionda. Briya is believed to be cooperating with prosecutors against the three defendants.
Marchionda, Bozanich and Sammarone have pleaded not guilty to charges that include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, bribery, aggravated theft and tampering with records.