Friday, January 11, 2019
Ohio high court lifts suspension
By David Skolnick
Martin Yavorcik, who had convictions on eight felonies related to the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption case overturned, said he’s grateful the Ohio Supreme Court reinstated his law license.
“It’s been a long road back,” Yavorcik said Thursday, the same day the court agreed to lift the suspension on his license. “I am going to do good for people. I’m very thankful and very humbled.”
John B. Juhasz, Yavorcik’s attorney, filed a motion Nov. 26 with the court asking that his client to again be allowed to practice law. The court had indefinitely suspended Yavorcik’s license May 2, 2016, based on the Oakhill convictions.
As for how he’s going to get his practice up and running again, Yavorcik said, “It’s untreaded water. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
The suspended license decision came after Yavorcik 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. Judge Janet Burnside of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court sentenced him to five years’ probation, including the first year on house arrest.
Prosecutors said Yavorcik joined the Oakhill conspiracy in 2008 when he ran for Mahoning County prosecutor as an independent candidate, with the expectation that if he won, he would stop a criminal investigation into blocking the county’s purchase of the former Southside Medical Center.
Former county Commissioner John A. McNally and ex-county Auditor Michael Sciortino, both Democrats, were convicted in the Oakhill case.
The Cleveland-based 8th District Court of Appeals vacated Yavorcik’s conviction May 10, 2018, writing in a 3-0 decision that Cuyahoga County was the wrong place to have Yavorcik’s trial because he didn’t commit any crimes there.
The Ohio Supreme Court decided Aug. 29, 2018, in a 4-2 decision it wouldn’t take up an appeal from the Ohio attorney general and Cuyahoga County prosecutor.
The high court indefinitely suspended the law license of Sciortino on Dec. 13, 2018. His license was on interim suspension since April 11, 2016.
The court on Sept. 18, 2018, suspended McNally’s law license for a year with six months of it stayed as long as he doesn’t engage in further misconduct.