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« Stirfry

Say, judge, who's the businessman?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published December 13, 2009

No one been more critical than this writer of U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi since she gave former Trumbull County Commissioner James Tsagaris a legal kiss on the cheek after he pleaded guilty to two counts of honest services mail fraud.
The federal criminal charges stem from Tsagaris’ receiving $36,551 from an unnamed local businessman who did business with Trumbull County while Tsagaris was commissioner.
Judge Lioi sentenced him in August to 12 months’ electronically monitored house arrest, a $4,000 fine and three years’ probation.
But the judge made amends last week by sending the ex commissioner to federal prison for nine months for violating the terms of his house arrest.
Indeed, she ingratiated herself with this writer and others who believe that corrupt government officials and those who have corrupted them have been treated too leniently by the courts.
After the details of Tsagaris’ house-arrest violations were made public, Lioi told him to report to prison as soon as possible. She disregarded U.S. Attorney Justin Roberts’ contention that it would be fair for Tsagaris to self-report on Jan. 1 “given the time of the year and the need to get his medical affairs in order.”
Lioi made it clear that the time of the year does not matter to her.
Good for the judge. Yes, she should have sent the ex commissioner to prison at the outset, but the nine months behind bars is appropriate given the violations of the terms of the house arrest.
Now, if only she would make public the name of the businessman who enriched Tsagaris. He’s the same individual who is said to have slipped money to former Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Cronin.
The businessman does not deserve to spend Christmas in the luxury and comfort of his mansion.


1magnolia(27 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

What is the difference between a "loan" and a bribe? I didn't think there was a difference. If a judge is handling cases by this mysterious business man and accepts this "loan" it appears to be a bribe. Why is the businessman allowed to remain anonymous? Where is the good reporting by our Vindicator and Tribune staff? You guys are not doing your job! Or are you too afraid to reveal this mystery man?

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2saddad(655 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

Magnolia--If you know who it is-tell us.

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3Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

If the identity of the businessman is known to investigators, it should be easy enough to place him in the position if revealing every public officlal to whom s/he gave money in return for special consideration (bribed). When faced with a major felony prosecution and serious jail time, the information will flow freely. The unfortunate part is that the individual may get a somewhat lighter sentence in return, but that is how the plea bargain game is played.

It seems the justice system itself is not much different in some respects from what is happening with Tsagaris and Cronin......

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4anothermike(227 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

Bertram has let the "judge" and everyone else know that he now approves of her decision. Maybe he should have graduated from law school and got himself appointed to the federal bench instead of crying in the Vindy about how the sentencing is never enough. A lot of us are glad he isn't sitting on the bench anywhere in America. Maybe if he spent some time in the "joint", he might be of a different opinion of what is fair and just.

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

"The businessman does not deserve to spend Christmas in the luxury and comfort of his mansion."

The business man has been innoculated against the ill wind of the justice system by an injection of politics . He is immune from prosecution .

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6Mike(13 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago


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7saddad(655 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

How hard is it to understand that the autorities have not named the "business man" and that no reporter can know with any degree of certainty who it is at this time? Can you say libel? And why havnt the prosecutors named him--because its not time yet. They probably are still using him in the investigation of others. Gheesh!

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8saddad(655 comments)posted 6 years, 7 months ago

If they have a cpl of officials that actually took money how many are there that took plane rides or other perks? Stay tuned.

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