Betras blasts Governor's pick to finish Belinky term - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Betras blasts Governor's pick to finish Belinky term

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Governor John Kasich has chosen someone to complete the unexpired term of Mahoning County Probate Judge Mark Belinky, who resigned in March.

The Governor announced on Tuesday that attorney Robert Rusu will serve on the bench until the winner of the November election takes over next year.

Rusu is also an independent candidate in the race for Mahoning County Probate Court Judge. He'll face Democrat Susan Maruca and another independent, Mary Ann Fabrizi. on the fall ballot.

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman, Dave Betras issued a statement calling governor's appointment, "A slap in the face to voters who supported Attorney Susan Maruca in the May 6 Democratic primary." 

Betras said, "This appointment represents nothing more or less than an attempt to unfairly influence the outcome of the election for this critically important post."

Belinky will be sentenced on July 9.  He pleaded guilty to a charge of tampering with records, which was filed in connection with an investigation into his political campaigns.

 Prosecutors say Belinky failed to disclose 2008 campaign contributions, expenditures and loans.

 Belinky, who is free on $2,500 bond, has already agreed to surrender his license to practice law.

An interim judge is handling cases in probate court until Rusu can take over.
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