Candidates for Mahoning Probate Court respond to Belinky's resig - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Candidates for Mahoning Probate Court respond to Belinky's resignation

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - "I hereby submit my resignation as Judge of the Court effective this date."
 
A simple message in letters sent from Mark Belinky to Governor John Kasich and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Maureen O'Connor Friday evening.
 
On February 6th, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Mahoning County Sheriff's office executed a search warrant at Belinky's office in the courthouse and at his home.
 
According to the warrant, they were looking for evidence of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with records, bribery, money laundering, theft and theft in office. That investigation is still open.
 
However, Belinky's resignation comes as a shock to the Mahoning Democratic Party as the May primary is less than two months away.
 
Mahoning County Democratic Chairman, Dave Betras says, "I have faith in the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department, the BCI and the judicial system, which has clearly worked in this case. I want us as a community now to focus on the future of probate court and our community in general."
 
Belinky was appointed to probate court judge in 2007 to serve out the remaining term of retiring judge Tim Maloney. He was elected to a six year term in 2008 and was running for another term against Susan Maruca and Chris Sammarone.
 
Susan Maruca says, "Under these circumstances, I don't think anybody wins. Everybody loses tonight. The county loses tonight. This isn't about winning tonight."
 
"I feel for Mark and his family. I know they've got to be going through a very
difficult time and I wish them well."
 
21 News contacted Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains and a spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General's office. Both said they did not wish to comment since the investigation on Belinky is on going.
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