YOUNGSTOWN - A letter from the FBI to attorneys for defendants in the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption case that was unsealed Wednesday said federal agents are investigating Anthony M. Cafaro Sr. on matters unrelated to Oakhill.
The letter, sent from FBI Special Agent in Charge C. Frank Figliuzzi and FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent John E. Stroll, was one of two exhibits ordered unsealed by visiting Judge William H. Wolff Jr. in his Tuesday ruling.
The Oct. 28 letter from the FBI addressed defense attorneys' complaints that they failed to provide requested documents, and redacted information from documents they did provide. FBI officials said redactions were made because the information was ''either non-responsive to the criminal case currently under indictment in Mahoning County or the materials relate to other on-going criminal investigations which have not yet been indicted.''
The letter said the redacted documents were interview reports, and redacted portions of the interview reports deal with the ''potential impeachment of a witness (for example an admission to a crime unrelated to the Mahoning County indictment).''
Also unsealed was correspondence from the Cafaro attorneys to special prosecutors Dennis P. Will and Paul M. Nick alleging the FBI is withholding information they requested in discovery, a process where information is gathered and shared between the two sides.
Also this week, Wolff ruled that a prosecutor's motion in response to request for an extension to an upcoming filing deadline be unsealed. The document, however, had not yet been made available Wednesday.
Anthony Cafaro Sr., the former president of the Cafaro Co. and its two subsidiaries, the Ohio Valley Mall Co. and the Marion Plaza Inc., along with his sister, Flora Cafaro, were part of a 73-count indictment filed July 28.
The charges claim that they conspired to stop Mahoning County from purchasing Oak Hill Renaissance Place to house county agencies instead of continuing to pay rent at the Cafaro-owned property.
Also indicted were Mahoning County Commissioner John McNally IV, county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino, former treasurer John Reardon, former director of the Jobs and Family Services John Zachariah, and Cafaro attorney Martin Yavorcik. All have pleaded innocent.
Charges range from corruption, bribery, conspiracy, perjury, money laundering, tampering with records, disclosure of confidential information and soliciting or accepting improper compensation.
Mahoning County purchased the Oakhill Renaissance Place building in July 2006 and moved JFS offices out of the Cafaro-owned Garland Plaza a year later.
In the unsealed documents, the FBI's Stroll wrote the FBI has located thousands of documents related to the case and provided them to the special prosecutors. It also said the FBI will continue to provide more documents.
The seven-page letter from Cafaro attorneys to special prosecutors sent Nov. 29 stated that defense attorneys did not receive notes taken, which ultimately compiled the interview reports, for those interviewed, including county Treasurer Lisa Antonini, Reardon and Yavorcik.
The attorneys wrote they believe the FBI also is withholding several other documents, including investigative inserts, memoranda, emails, text messages and proffer letters.
They also said they have no reports prepared by the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, the county prosecutor's office and the Ohio Ethics Commission. The attorneys said all were directly involved in the investigation prior to special prosecutor's appointment in November 2008.
''We believe that the FBI is in possession of written and recorded statements made by the individual defendants and representatives of Cafaro related entities,'' the letter said.
Defense attorneys also wrote they believe surveillance was performed on defendants in the case.
Attorneys for the Cafaros had argued that exhibits unsealed Wednesday should remain under seal. Wolff, in his ruling, wrote that the motions would not create an unfair bias among potential jurors.
''Upon examination of the exhibits, the court is not persuaded that the unsealing of these exhibits 'will create publicity that has a substantial likelihood of prejudicing the defendant's right to a fair trial,''' Wolff wrote.