McNally, Sciortino, Yavorcic Charged with Corruption

CLEVELAND -- The mayor of Youngstown, John A. McNally IV, Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino and attorney Marty Yavorcik today were indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury on multiple public corruption charges (CLICK HERE to read indictments) connected to the county’s purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place.

Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine announced during a news conference this afternoon that a 73-count indictment was handed down.

“We are not done, the case is still under investigation,” DeWine said. “Whether there will be additional charges, I can’t tell you at this moment. … It’s not over.”

McNally is accused of 34 counts of felony and misdemeanor crimes that include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, bribery, tampering with records, perjury, money laundering, telecommunications fraud, theft in office and unlawful compensation.

Sciortino faces 21 counts; Yavorcic is indicted on 27 counts.

McNally, then a county commisisoner, and Sciortino were indicted in 2010 for allegedly conspiring with Anthony Cafaro Sr., then CEO of The Cafaro Co., to block the county’s purchase of the building. The Cafaro Co. was renting office space to the county Department of Jobs and Family Services at the McGuffey Mall on Garland Avenue on the East Side; Jobs and Family Services was the sole tenant and the prospects of finding another tenant were bleak.

The charges were dismissed without prejudice after the FBI refused to share the evidence they had gathered in their separate investigation with the county Prosecutor Paul Gains.

“If you compare indictments handed down by this grand jury, they’re different,” DeWine said. "There is some commonality … but we wanted to take an independent look at the facts surrounding the purchase of Oakhill Place.”

The indictments came in Cuyahoga County because, said that county’s prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, “We allege corruption took place in both counties.”

McNally said he would not respond to statements at the press conference until Thursday morning. At 2 p.m., minutes before the press conference began, McNally met briefly in his office with a reporter and cameraman from The Business Journal to say that neither he nor his lawyer, Lynn Maro, had been informed about what DeWine and McGinty would say.

Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino said he's suspicious of the timing of an indictment handed up Wednesday by a Cuyahoga County grand jury accusing him, Mayor John McNally and attorney Martin Yavorcik on multiple public corruption charges.

Sciortino said that he placed a phone call to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine this morning and left a message for him to call. No return call was received, .

"If he's going to indict me, I'd appreciate a phone call," Sciortino told The Business Journal.

The county auditor noted that the new charges come nearly four years after prosecutors withdrew similar charges filed against the three, and the timing of the new charges is curious.

"They've been looking at this stuff for four years, and now it's an election year," he said. "Here we go again, I guess."

DeWine and McGinty said prosecutors are not under any legal requirement to notify individuals in advance of their indictments. Neither McNally nor Sciortino will be taken into custody, they said, and instead would be summoned into Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

"Corruption causes great damage to the community and community confidence," McGinty said. "As we've seen in the past in Cuyahoga County and in Youngstown, considerable damage has already been inflicted."

"These are serious charges handed down by the grand jury but as in all cases, these defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty," DeWine emphasized.

Still, the attorney general is required to notify the Ohio Supreme Court that a sitting officeholder has been accused of commiting a crime while he was in office. Sciortino ultimately could be removed from office pending the outcome of the case, he said.

As listed by the attorney general, the indictment naming McNally includes:
  • One Count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a Felony of the First Degree;
  • Two Counts of Conspiracy, Felonies of the Second Degree;
  • Two Counts of Bribery, Felonies of the Third Degree;
  • Six Counts of Tampering with Records, Felonies of the Third Degree;
  • Nine Counts of Perjury, Felonies of the Third Degree;
  • One Count of Money Laundering, a Felony of the Third Degree;
  • Two Counts of Telecommunications Fraud, Felonies of the Fourth Degree;
  • Two Counts of Theft in Office, Felonies of the Fourth Degree;
  • Two Counts of Unlawful Compensation, Misdemeanors of the First Degree;
  • Three Counts of Disclosing Confidential Information, Misdemeanors of the First Degree;
  • Four Counts of Prohibited Acts, Ethics, Misdemeanors of the Fourth Degree.
Sciortino's indictment includes:
  • One Count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a Felony of the First Degree;
  • Two Counts of Conspiracy, Felonies of the Second Degree
  • Two Counts of Bribery, Felonies of the Third Degree;
  • Four Counts of Tampering with Records, Felonies of the Third Degree
  • Six Counts of Perjury, Felonies of the Third Degree;
  • One Count of Money Laundering, a Felony of the Third Degree;
  • Two Counts of Unlawful Compensation, Misdemeanors of the First Degree; and
  • Four Counts of Prohibited Acts, Ethics, Misdemeanors of the First Degree. 
Yavorcik's indictment includes:
  • One Count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the First Degree;
  • Two Counts of Conspiracy, Felonies of the Second Degree;
  • Three Counts of Bribery, Felonies of the Third Degree;
  • Seventeen Counts of Tampering with Records, Felonies of the Third Degree; and
  • Four Counts of Money Laundering, Felonies of the Third Degress.

Copyright 2013 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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