Oakhill records turned over
Documents filed in the Oakhill Renaissance Place political corruption case show defense attorneys have been given hundreds of hours of recorded telephone calls, other audio clips and a fax ”of confidential offer” from Youngstown Mayor John McNally relating to the county’s purchase of the former South Side Hospital.
Part of the ”more than 100 gigabytes of evidence” prosecutors have turned over includes the faxed offer from McNally, one of three defendants so far in the case, to the Cleveland law firm of Ulmer and Berne, which represented Cafaro Co. subsidiary Ohio Valley Mall in a failed 2006 lawsuit it filed to block the move of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services from the Cafaro Co.-owned Garland Plaza to Oakhill.
Among the charges against McNally is an accusation that while a Mahoning County commissioner, he provided the offer to an attorney with Ulmer and Berne – information that also was contained in a bill of particulars filed in the case in June – that commissioners made to a bankruptcy trustee to buy Oakill.
A bill of particulars provides details to support charges contained in an indictment.
Also charged in the 67-page, 83-count indictment, the result of a joint Ohio Attorney General’s Office / Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office investigation into Mahoning County’s 2006 purchase of Oakill, are Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino and attorney Martin Yavorick.
All three are accused of conspiring to stop the move of the county’s Department of Job and Family Services from the Cafaro Co.-owned Garland Plaza into Oakhill. Of the charges against the three, they all face one or multiple charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, bribery, tampering with records and money laundering.
They say they are innocent.
Similar charges filed in 2010 against the three men and others, including former Cafaro Co. president Anthony Cafaro, were dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could be refiled.
Cafaro has not been charged in connection to the latest investigation. There are hints, however, that Cafaro is the ”Businessman 1” contained in the indictment charging McNally, Sciortino and Yavorick.
According to the indictment, “Businessman 1” provided former Mahoning County treasurer and chairwoman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party Lisa Antonini $3,000 in cash in January 2008.
According to the charges filed against Antonini, a businessman gave her a $3,000 gift on Jan. 16, 2008, and on the same day, the same businessman gave her a $200 contribution. A search of Antonini’s campaign finance report shows a $200 donation from Cafaro on Jan. 16, 2008.
Other data provided to defense attorneys includes 576 hours of ”consensual recordings” with two confidential human sources between 2005 and 2010, audio clips of Yavorcik, other audio clips and recordings, law enforcement reports and witness interviews.
In addition, a records database includes background, bankruptcy, bank, Ohio Ethics Commission and Mahoning County Board of Elections records, checks to ”Businessman 1,” civil depositions, including one from the Ohio Valley Mall case, and a ”black binder created by Businessman 1 and delivered to Paul Gains.” Gains is the Mahoning County Prosecutor.
Also given to defense attorneys were records provided by the Cafaro Co., Ohio Valley Mall, several law firms, McNally, Sciortino and John Zachariah, the former JFS director. Zachariah was charged in 2010, but does not face charges now.