Attorneys in Oakhill corruption case accuse prosecutors of makin - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Attorneys in Oakhill corruption case accuse prosecutors of making 'false' statements

Posted: Updated:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Attorneys for 2 defendants in the Oakhill public corruption case are accusing prosecutors of making false statements.

Lawyers for Youngstown Mayor John McNally and former Mahoning County Auditor Mike Sciortino say statements made to the media by Dan Tierney, spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office, regarding their defense strategy are not correct. 

Part of the statement from the attorneys reads: "Mr. McNally and Mr. Sciortino do not want a continuance, they simply want the procedures employed for this trial to be fair."

McNally, Sciortino and attorney Martin Yavorcik are accused of allegedly trying to block Mahoning County's purchase of the Oakhill Renaissance building. 

The trial is set to begin in Cleveland, February 29th.

Here is the full statement:

The Oakhill trial approaches at the end of this month. Counsel for Mr. McNally and Mr. Sciortino continue to file motions on behalf of their clients to ensure that the proceedings are conducted in accordance with the rules and the law. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has chosen to respond to recent defense filings by trying to ascribe some improper motive to the filings. This has been a routine practice from the Ohio Attorney General's Office throughout this case. The Code of Professional Conduct governs pretrial comments on pending cases. The Rules apply to all offices that employ
lawyers; public and private sector alike. The Rules do not permit attorneys to comment upon opposing counsel's motives, thought processes, or approach to defending a case. Fortunately, the Rules do permit counsel to respond to public comments which are prejudicial. Continually proscribing improper motives to the defense filings and to defense counsel can be done for no other purpose than to prejudice the proceedings.

Mr. McNally and Mr. Sciortino do not want a continuance, they simply want the procedures employed for this trial to be fair. The defense has provided discovery and a witness list to the State. The defense has no burden at trial, only the State has the burden of proof. It logically follows that what the defense intends to use at trial and who the defense intends to call depends upon what the State presents. As the State continues to make disclosures of evidence and witnesses, the defense will respond and supplement their responses. Mr. Tierney, spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office has again made public comments that are not correct. The defense is not trying to delay this trial and the defense has provided discovery to the State.

In the last 90 days the State of Ohio has produced additional discovery of over 4,000 pages of records and nearly 400 computer discs. Much of the supplemental discovery has been in the government's possession for well over 5 years. The State has amended the witness list 3 times, recently adding an additional 9 witnesses never previously disclosed. It would indeed appear as though someone is trying to force a continuance. It is not the defense.

Lynn Maro, counsel for John McNally
John B. Juhasz, counsel for Michael Sciortino
 

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Trump budget keeps pledges: Cuts for poor, more for military

    Trump budget keeps pledges: Cuts for poor, more for military

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 6:32 PM EDT2017-05-23 22:32:29 GMT
    Trump administration sending Congress $4.1 trillion spending plan featuring deep cuts in safety net programs.More >>
    Trump administration sending Congress $4.1 trillion spending plan featuring deep cuts in safety net programs.More >>
  • Trumbull communities explore collaboration of resources

    Trumbull communities explore collaboration of resources

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 6:26 PM EDT2017-05-23 22:26:23 GMT

    Communities across Trumbull County are considering whether to team up to share resources in return. Government leaders from all corners of the county met Tuesday to learn more about the concept of forming a Trumbull County council of government and how it could help streamline costs. 

    More >>

    Communities across Trumbull County are considering whether to team up to share resources in return. Government leaders from all corners of the county met Tuesday to learn more about the concept of forming a Trumbull County council of government and how it could help streamline costs. 

    More >>
  • Vote on fact finder's report for Warren fire contract set for Wednesday

    Vote on fact finder's report for Warren fire contract set for Wednesday

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 6:22 PM EDT2017-05-23 22:22:46 GMT
    Warren Fire DepartmentWarren Fire Department
    Warren city council will vote on a measure this week that would give firefighters a boost in pay if it's approved. A fact finder's report recommends the city give two lump sum payments of $500 to each firefighter not covered by the SAFER grant. The payments would be paid out in July of 2017 and 2018. Warren City Councilman Al Novak tells 21 News he plans to vote against it, pointing to voters already approving an income tax hike in November. When it comes to benefits, the repo...More >>
    Warren city council will vote on a measure this week that would give firefighters a boost in pay if it's approved. A fact finder's report recommends the city give two lump sum payments of $500 to each firefighter not covered by the SAFER grant. The payments would be paid out in July of 2017 and 2018. Warren City Councilman Al Novak tells 21 News he plans to vote against it, pointing to voters already approving an income tax hike in November. When it comes to benefits, the repo...More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms