Youngstown developer's attorney speaks out for first time after - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown developer's attorney speaks out for first time after raids

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Police search the Boardman home of Youngstown Finance Director Dave Bozanich Police search the Boardman home of Youngstown Finance Director Dave Bozanich
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

For the first time, we are hearing from the Cleveland attorney representing prominent Valley developer Dominic J. Marchionda.

Marchionda has been at the center of an Ohio State Auditor's investigation into the legality of more than $2-million given by the city from its water and wastewater funds to three projects from the NYO Property Group, operated by Marchionda.

The projects that appear to be the focus of the state's investigation are the Flats at Wick project and Wick Towers.

It was just last Thursday, July 6th, when state agents raided four properties including the home of Youngstown Finance Director David Bozanich, the home and office of Canfield Attorney Steve Garea, and the home of a woman identified as the longtime girlfriend to Bozanich.

Inventories of what was seized during those searches were "unsealed" on Wednesday, and for the first time made the connection with the Marchionda investigation and the Flats at Wick and Wick Tower projects.

Back on March 16th, records were seized at NYO Property Group's downtown office and at Marchionda's Poland home.

While those search warrants remain sealed, we've learned that part of what was confiscated from Attorney Garea's law office on Starr Centre Drive last week were two files on the Flats at Wick and Wick Towers as well as three folders related to B&B Contractors.  There was also a "paper showing a payment breakdown, and correspondence alleging fraud against B&B Contractors," B&B Contractors earning statements, construction contracts, and folders from B&B Construction.

After learning what was seized as potential evidence, 21 News reached out to B&B Contractors to find out why the company's name has surfaced on items taken during the raids.   

Boardman Attorney Nick Sebastiano who represents B&B confirmed that the company was contracted to work on the Flats at Wick project and that Attorney Steve Garea represented B&B as corporate counsel at the time, but he has since been fired.

We have also learned that Attorney Garea represented developer Marchionda in real estate transactions regarding the Flats at Wick at the same time.

Sebastiano told 21 News that B&B Contractors has been 'victimized' extensively through all of this and they are very concerned about what is going on.  The company's lawyer made it clear that B&B is "not" the target of the state's investigations, but did not want to disclose details of how they were victimized and by who.  

However, we have learned that B&B not only terminated their corporate counsel Steve Garea, but President Phillip Beshara has since resigned, and Controller Sam DeCaria and Richard DeCaria, who worked in accounting for the company, have both been terminated.

Today, Cleveland Attorney John McCaffrey who represents developer Dominic Marchionda released this statement:

"Dominic Marchionda has maintained a positive, professional relationship with B&B Contractors over the past decade.  B&B's claim of being 'victimized' appear to relate to the acts of one of its former owners and former officers of the company throughout which Dominic Marchionda played no active or supporting role."

"McCaffrey added that, "Steve Garea performed legal services in connection with the Flats at Wick and Wick Towers development projects.  These services primarily related to real estate transaction services.  At the time, Mr. Garea disclosed his ongoing legal representation of B&B Contractors.  It is our understanding that Mr. Garea secured the appropriate waivers of any actual or potential conflict in undertaking these legal representations."  

The Ohio State Auditor's office says the investigation is ongoing, but to date search warrants and affidavits in support of those warrants have not been made public.

No one has been charged with any wrong doing.

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