Another assistant Mahoning County prosecutor resigns

YOUNGSTOWN — Michael McBride, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, resigned Tuesday, effective this Friday, but Prosecutor Paul Gains would not talk about whether he knew the motivation behind the resignation.

McBride has prosecuted cases in Mahoning County area courts in recent years, including Sebring, Boardman, Austintown and Canfield, including the case of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney High School football coach Carl Pelini.

A domestic-violence charge was dismissed against Pelini Sept. 3 after McBride told Judge Molly Johnson of Mahoning County Area Court in Canfield that Pelini’s wife was refusing to testify and had agreed to having the charges dismissed.

Johnson said she dismissed the case after hearing from the Boardman police, who investigated the case; the victim’s advocate and the prosecution.

Gains confirmed Wednesday that McBride tendered his resignation Tuesday and that McBride did not give a reason. He said he would make “no further comment” on anything related to McBride’s resignation or reason for leaving.

Gains has lost two other assistant prosecutors in recent weeks — Dawn Cantalamessa, who has prosecuted many of the most high-profile murder cases for many years; and Meghan Brundege, who was an assistant prosecutor in the juvenile division and was recently hired as a Youngstown Municipal Court magistrate.

When asked whether the departures leave him short staffed and looking for new hires, Gains said, “Obviously we will have a vacancy because of McBride resigning,” but he noted that two new attorneys were recently hired to work on juvenile cases.

And he acknowledged that his office recently hired defense attorney Edward Czopur as an assistant prosecutor. Czopur filed a motion Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court asking to be replaced on the appeal for defendant Brian Donlow in a murder case.

Gains said he believes the wages his assistant prosecutors make are “competitive,” adding, “People move on.”


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