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« Stirfry

Should/will Auditor Sciortino resign?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


Published August 1, 2010

Untitled document

The indictment of Auditor Michael Sciortino is giving Democratic Party leaders night sweats. Sciortino, who told The Vindicator during his endorsement interview in the May primary that he would not resign if indicted, is sticking to that position. Indeed, party Chairman David Betras has tried on several occasions to persuade the five-year auditor that his re-election in November is no longer guaranteed.

Betras is hoping that public reaction to the 73-count indictment against Sciortino, Commissioner John A. McNally IV, former Treasurer John Reardon, former Job and Family Services Director John Zachariah, Atty. Martin Yavorcik and Cafaro Co. owners Anthony M. Cafaro Sr. and his sister, Flora, will hit home.

But the party is in a race against time. If Sciortino steps down now, the executive committee would have submit the name of a replacement on the ballot by 4 p.m. Aug. 9. That does not give Betras and the leadership team a lot of breathing room.

Should the officeholder resign? The answer is yes — because if he remains on the ballot and loses, one of two individuals will be auditor: Republican Tracey Winbush or Independent Joe Markovitch. Neither has first-hand experience with county government finances and neither has served in any positions of power in Mahoning County government.

The ideal candidate would be a certified public accountant with an understanding of public sector budgeting. The party would be expected to seek someone of that caliber to replace the Democratic nominee.

Prior to his becoming auditor, Sciortino, a lawyer, was director of the county board of elections.

His position today is tenuous, at best. However, there are supporters telling him that the indictment is not politically fatal. He needs to consider what’s in the best interest of Mahoning County.


Comments

11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Dave Betras wasn't too worried about good govt when he elected Marc Dann, was he?

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2davidjohn(144 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

hypocrisy gone wild

this newspaper has treated those people who tried to reform politics like they were radioactive

you laughed at zamary and fitzer

you treated them like gadflies or wackos

new candidates were shunned for the incumbents at every turn

you knew mcnallys connection to cafaros and still endorsed him

you call now for a cpa auditor but said little about how sciortino with no experience was appointed in a classic corrupt backroom deal

now is not the time to act self righteous

you have been a major part of the problem

maybe you should resign as well

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3valleyred(1093 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Could we actually see a Republican win in November!?

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4Progress(58 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Seriously Bertram?? Replace the current auditor with a hand picked lackey of the current party chairman who has a number of ethical issues himself?? Get real. The Repub candidate would be a breath of fresh air in the demostagnant valley as we know it.

As for experience, maybe its time we started electing some novices to these positions, everyone who has been elected to public office was a novice when they first began, couldnt be any worse than what has been elected/appointed thus far.

But that analogy makes too much sense for you, as it has been your job to enable the local democratic party for so many years, thus insuring your comfortable pension.

The Vindy is in 'the bag" so to speak for the Mahoning County Dem party. Now it is so obvious that you guys dont even try to hide it anymore. Pretty sad when the chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party is interviewed on this issue by the Tribune but not one blurb form him in the Vindy??

Oh, and BTW, just for the record. The Ohio Revised Code does NOT require one running for Auditor to possess a college degree or be a CPA, thus ensuring that the "common man" can be elected to keep an eye on the taxpayer dollar.

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51970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

He should not resign unless he is convicted. Bill Clinton did not resign when he was impeached, and he was prez. Since prez of US was able to deal with impeachment issue and still be prez, Sciortino should be more than able to handle being county auditor.

Sciortino won the Democrat primary already, and everyone knew this was coming then, and he still won. And he can still win in November in a three way race.

It seems every week someone is released from prison after being wrongly convicted. Some after decades in jail. So let's wait until Sciortino has a trial for God's sake. We have not even seen the facts or specific allegations against him.

And let's not forget that it is not unheard of for a defendant to have charges against them dropped before a trial even begins once a judge gets involved.

And quite frankly, even if they are 100% guilty of everything they are charged with I would prefer to see all the officeholders go free w/o punishment (just like JJ Cafaro has) and have Anthony and Flora convicted convicted if given the choice. They are a cancer. And if they are convicted, they can get a stern talking to and probation, just like JJ.

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61970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Did Joe Vukovich resign when he was charged with spraying oven cleaner in his wife's face? No. Was he convicted? No.

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71970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

How about Poland twp,. trustee Bob Lidle? How many dui's does he have to get before he has to resign? Did Dan Polivka resign after being accused a second time of domestic violence? No, he got elected Chairman of Democrat party. Did Bob Taft resign? Nope. Don't forget about convicted cocaine dealer Danny Thomas being elected to Struthers' council.

These guys were all CONVICTED and kept their offices, and Sciortino has only been ACCUSED. If he is convicted he'll be gone, but let the voters decide otherwise.

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8author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Mike Sciortino wins in November. Independents and Republicans cannot in this community... even with the indictments.

He will do what is best for Mike Sciortino, because that is what humans beings do best... all of us.

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9teabagparty(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The indictment of Auditor Michael Sciortino is giving Democratic Party leaders night sweats. (No it's not… There is not another candidate qualified within the local Independent or Republican parties. Sciortino coasts to another victory.) Sciortino, who told The Vindicator during his endorsement interview in the May primary that he would not resign if indicted, is sticking to that position. (Which he should because he has no competition and is the most qualified for the position) Indeed, party Chairman David Betras has tried on several occasions to persuade the five-year auditor that his re-election in November is no longer guaranteed. (His education and experience are proof that he is qualified for the position. Put his resume up against the others in the upcoming election it’s not even close.) Should the officeholder resign? The answer is yes — because if he remains on the ballot and loses, one of two individuals will be auditor: Republican Tracey Winbush or Independent Joe Markovitch. Neither has first-hand experience with county government finances and neither has served in any positions of power in Mahoning County government. (You're out of your mind if you think an Incumbent Democrat will lose against the preceding candidates. You said it yourself neither have the qualifications to obtain the position.) He needs to consider what’s in the best interest of Mahoning County. (So an incumbent with education, experience, and knowledge concerning the position should resign from the position because of some frivolous indictment. Let me state this in closing, innocent until proven guilty.) He walks from the court case, the election, and right back into office.

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10teabagparty(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Here's what you don't know: Betras made a deal with Traficanti to get Mike off the ballot so that Traficanti could take Mike's place and that Tablak could tag along. The real crime is County Adinistrator, his pay and occupation is a joke and a waste.

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111970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

And what, exactly, is it he stole, moron? Oh that's right, you cannot tell us because he has not had a trial, and none of the facts ALLEGED have been made public. But in your feeble mind he is "scum" because he has been accused of something.

Were you one of the people declaring the Duke Lacrosse players "scum" and deciding their punishment before they were convicted? Ooops, charges dropped since they were not guilty.

Was Robert Hatfield, the guy the FBI tried to ruin because they "felt" he was the person who mailed anthrax just after 911, "scum" too? Ooops, the US govt had to pay him million$ after finding out small thing on their theory -he was innocent.

How about Richard Jewyl, the guy the FBI followed around, absolutely convinced he was the Olympic Park bomber, so much so they leaked information about him to the press. "Scum" too? After all he was a mall cop, so he had to be guilty, right? Ooops again. Turns out he was a hero who saved countless lives and also cashed in from the govt .witch hunt against him.

So before you start declaring people "scum" why don't you learn the facts first? If after a trial he is found guilty, then call him names, but until then educate yourself about the criminal justice system and due process.

And your analogy is idiotic. The issue is whether Sciortino should resign, so your comparing it to firing the employee is senseless.

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12teabagparty(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Mark this down. He beats the charges. He wins the election. He keeps his job!

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131970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

To me it isn't about "beating" the charge. I want to know with some specificity what the charges even are before I declare him guilty.

I used to be one of those folks who felt that if someone were charged with a crime, they must be guilty. But it doesn't always work that way. I have listed some examples above.

So I'll wait to see some facts before convicting him. That's how I would want to be treated. That's what Constitutions says must happen.

If it comes out that he was taking bags of cash in backseat of car, then I'll feel that he is guilty. But this case just seems kind of weak so far, so I want to learn more.

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14CCmom(31 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

1970mach1...you seem to be the only voice of reason posting comments.

I also want to see what the specific charges and evidence entail.

Does the phrase "Presumed innocent until proven guilty" mean anything?

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15ohio11pm(23 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Why won't the Vindicator have real journalists investigate a story and see what truly is behind all of this?

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161970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

"Why won't the Vindicator have real journalists investigate a story and see what truly is behind all of this?"

That's a pretty low blow. I'd like to see some more digging, but I'm sure we'll ave to wait until the court cases proceed to get more info. Commish McNally said on the news something along the lines that this could take a year.

One thing I am disappointed in is the rush to judgment by the papers asking for resignations before reporting any specifics.

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