Prosecutor: Transcripts reveal plot to prevent prosecution in Oa - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Prosecutor: Transcripts reveal plot to prevent prosecution in Oakhill corruption case

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -

A 145 page document filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court reveals more details about the investigation into corruption allegations facing two local elected officials and an attorney.

Prosecutors on Wednesday filed what is known as a bill of particulars, which is a compilation of depositions, conversation transcripts, personal notes, emails and other documents aimed at illustrating a pattern of alleged perjury by Youngstown Mayor John McNally, Mahoning County Auditor Mike Sciortino and attorney Martin Yavorcik.

The three men face a total of 83 charges for allegedly conspiring with a local businessman to stop Mahoning County Commissioners from purchasing the Oakhill Renaissance Place.

The name of that businessman is not mentioned in the original indictment, but the case against the three focuses on their alleged involvement in a lawsuit filed after the Mahoning County Commissioners announced plans to move offices out of a building owned by the Cafaro family.

The indictment alleges that there was an attempt to get Yavorcik elected as Mahoning County Prosecutor to prevent county prosecutor Paul Gains from pursuing charges against those who allegedly tried to stop the move into the Oakhill building.

The prosecution contends that the transcript of a March 1, 2008 conversation between Yavorcik and a cooperating witness shows that Yavorcik agreed to protect Sciortino, former Mahoning County Democratic Party Chair Lisa Antonini, and former Mahoning County Auditor John Reardon, if Yavorcik could become the next county prosecutor.

TRANSCRIPT:

Cooperating witness: Well, she, (Lisa Antonini) she, she's very happy because you know Paul's (Paul Gains) gonna maybe come down on all of them. Try to come after them, so she said, you know, you promised that you'd watch out for them on that because..

Martin Yavorcik: Well of course.

Cooperating  witness: Yeah, so she is, she says I know I can count on Marty on that, so.  Cause that's Sciortino, that's Reardon, that's McNally..

Martin Yavorcik: The whole crew

Cooperating witness: That's everyone of her people. All in the nest.

Martin Yavorcik: I know. I know.

Cooperating witness: And she said, she served, it was sort of, in one way it's provocative by him knowing she's gonna be for you. On the other side, he's coming after her anyway.

Martin Yavorcik: But she's made it perfectly clear.

Cooperating witness: Oh Yeah.

Martin Yavorcik: You know, I don't think, that's you know. So we've got to put this together. I've got to, you know, making sure I get these signatures. I've been sick as a dog.

Cooperating witness: Now, when you have people talking about being able to put this $100,000 for you that's pretty powerful isn't it?

 Martin Yavorcik: Yeah.

Prosecutors also say that a conversation that mentions former Mahoning County Sheriff Randall Wellington, former Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Morely and the Cafaros also showed that Yavorcik knew the importance of winning the election.

TRANSCRIPT:

Cooperating witness: I mean, there's you you know, and you know if this, if you don't win, not just Lisa (Antonini) Mike Sciortino and McNally. They'll go after Morely, (Attorney Mike Morely), they'll go after the Cafaros, they're gonna go after everybody.

Martin Yavorcik: Oh, we gotta win.

Cooperating witness: Yeah. I mean, I know those guys up there are helping you up there. They know it or they wouldn't be helping. They know it and they're  gonna come in for more because they're gonna realize now it is life or death for them too There's no question about that. I mean there's just no question.

Martin Yavorcik: (Laughs)

Cooperating witness: You saw, you saw Wellington's statement.

Martin Yavorcik: I'm sorry?

Cooperating witness: Did you read Wellington's statement?

Martin Yavorcik: Oh. I didn't hear it, no.

Cooperating witness: He says, you're a lawyer you know what he's sayin'. No one's above the law and no one's beyond the law.

Martin Yavorcik: Oh, is that what he said?

Cooperating witness: What's that tell ya?

Martin Yavorcik: Yep

Cooperating witness: Do you agree that's what he, and he's sending it out there. You know, he's not a dramatic guy, so he's just laying it out there.

Martin Yavorcik: Yeah, it's on. I gotta win.

Cooperating witness: You gotta win.

Martin Yavorcik: We gotta win.

Cooperating witness: Yeah. If you don't win, you can see where it's going.

Martin Yavorcik: Yep. You're absolutely right.

Cooperating witness: And I think Lisa (Antonini) gets it. I think Mike Morely gets it.

Martin Yavorcik: Oh, I think so.

Cooperating witness: But I think the thing is I don't know, Sciortino and McNally have to kick in now.

Martin Yavorcik: Oh, they, you know, last night Sciortino and I were out all night.

STRATEGY SESSIONS:

Several pages of the bill of particulars reference several "strategy sessions" between those indicted and "businessman number one."

During a May 2007 deposition, when Auditor Sciortino was asked if he had any meetings with "Businessman number one" prior to the bankruptcy filings by the former owner of Oakhill, Sciortino said, "I don't believe so.. I think that meeting came afterwards."

However, Businessman One's notes from July 2006 indicate a meeting with Sciortino. "He says he will say that funds have not been certified. I asked, will you refuse to certify in future. He says he's against project and if reasons are provided to him he can refuse."

ALLEGED BRIBES:

The document says that when Yavorcik was running for Mahoning County Prosecutor, he filed false campaign reports on donations from a local businesswoman, former Mahoning County Prosecutor Gary Van Brocklin, Lisa Antonini, Michael Sciortino and John Reardon.  Prosecutors claim that while Sciortino says he received loans for his campaign, some of them were actually contributions.

The bill of particulars says that campaign transactions involving Yavorcik, Antonini, Reardon and Sciortino were in fact bribes.

Antonini  is out of federal prison and is now in a halfway house in Youngstown after being sentenced to a five month sentence for failing to report a $3,000 cash gift.

The next pretrial conference hearing in the case against McNally, Sciortino and Yavorcik is set for June 20.


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