YOUNGSTOWN - Special prosecutors in the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal corruption investigation will supply bills of particulars to federal authorities spelling out the charges, according to an order by the judge presiding over the case.
Judge William H. Wolff Jr. wrote Monday that special prosecutors need to present the documents to the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio or its agents.
Wolff ordered all documents in the case, which involves seven people and three businesses, to be filed under seal. He has released hundreds of pages of documents to the public record, though many still remain sealed, including the bills of particulars. Wolff unsealed two documents that pertain to his ruling Monday.
Correspondence from FBI agents to the attorneys for Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., who is facing myriad charges in the case which were unsealed, said discovery information the FBI provided to the attorneys was redacted because it 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.''
Cafaro attorneys, in a letter to special prosecutors Paul M. Nick and Dennis P. Will, said the attorneys believe the FBI is withholding certain materials, including interview transcripts and correspondences between those charged and other members of the county government.
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 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.
Both Special Agent Scott Wilson of the Cleveland FBI and Public Affairs Specialist for the United States Attorneys of the Northern Ohio District Mike Tobin said Monday that they could neither confirm nor deny federal authorities are investigating any of the defendants in the case.
''We wouldn't make a comment on that if it's someone else's investigation,'' Wilson said.
Cafaro Co. spokesman Joe Bell said he was unaware of the developments in the case and declined comment Monday.
Wolff also ruled against a protective order for the bills of particulars because prosecutors ensured that the U.S. Attorney's office will ''respect the confidentiality of the'' documents.
Wolff also ruled on a few other matters Monday. He allowed prosecutors more time in providing defendants with discovery material, which is material prosecutors intend to use as evidence against the defendants in the case. Wolff also said he would not impose a deadline for the materials to be furnished.
Wolff decided that the motion will be made public, without redactions, despite Cafaro attorneys arguing that it should be redacted in order to insure a fair trial in Mahoning County.
''The court is not persuaded that refusal to allow the requested redaction will create a publicity that has a substantial likelihood of prejudicing the defendants' right to a fair trial,'' Wolff wrote.