More documents released Thursday in the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption case state that three former judges may have been caught up in it.
An opinion issued by the Ohio Supreme Court Thursday said Prosecutor Paul Gains had requested that a special prosecutor take the case before a grand jury to avoid the appearance of impropriety because "the investigation involved numerous public officials, including two current judges and one retired judge, who might be witnesses or potential targets."
No current or former judge was charged in the Oakhill case. The opinion does not name the judges.
John McCaffrey, who represented Ohio Valley Mall Co. in the case, had requested the court release the documents. He filed the request to obtain records of Gains and some of his staff during the investigation, claiming prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Gains.
The court, in its ruling Thursday, gave McCaffrey limited access to some of Gains' records and those of his staff.
Gains had no comment Thursday other than to say the court found no prosecutorial misconduct and that the court pointed out that the records McCaffery wanted to look at dealt with the criminal case.
McCaffery could not be reached for comment.
The case involved Anthony Cafaro Sr., the former president of the Cafaro Co. and its two subsidiaries, the Ohio Valley Mall Co. and the Marion Plaza Inc., who was part of a 73-count indictment.
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 maintained innocence throughout proceedings and after the charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning the charges can be filed again without violating double jeopardy laws.
Charges range from corruption, bribery, conspiracy, perjury, money laundering, tampering with records, disclosure of confidential information and soliciting or accepting improper compensation.
Yavorcik and Flora Cafaro were not charged in the conspiracy, but in a separate charge that Flora Cafaro gave Yavorcik an illegal $15,000 check to finance his unsuccessful campaign to become the Mahoning County prosecutor, the bill of particulars, which was filed before Judge Wolff sealed all motions in the case.
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.
The case was dismissed, on prosecutors' request, because the FBI, who, according to unsealed records in the case, conducted surveillance on some of the defendants, refused to give prosecutors the surveillance tapes.
Prosecutors said without the FBI tapes, they would violate discovery rules to provide all evidence to defense attorneys.