Government

Bozanich Defers Comment, B&B Says It’s a ‘Victim’

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Finance Director David Bozanich declined to comment Thursday morning on search warrants executed a week ago at his residence and that of his reported girlfriend while an attorney for B&B Contractors & Developers Inc. says the company is a “victim.”

The evidence inventory was released Wednesday of the items taken from a total of four locations in Boardman and Canfield last Thursday.

“I can’t discuss anything as it relates to that,” Bozanich said in a phone interview this morning. “I’m just not discussing it at this time.”

Investigators representing the offices of the state auditor, state attorney general, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Mahoning County sheriff’s department executed search warrants at the office and residence of Canfield attorney Steve Garea as well as the Boardman residences of Bozanich and a woman believed to be his girlfriend, Panzy Eldridge.

Investigators took 13 items from Eldridge’s residence July 13, including various financial, loan and tax records belonging to Bozanich, two computers and two tablet devices. Taken from Bozanich’s residence were photographs and a safe.

Items taken from Garea’s residence and office included files for the Flats at Wick and Wick Tower, two NYO Property Group projects; a paper showing a payment breakdown and correspondence “alleging fraud” at B&B Contractors, a company that has worked with NYO on projects in the past, and other documents related to the firm.

Garea was B&B’s corporate counsel until being fired last September, said attorney Nick Sebastiano of Sebastiano Heddaeus Ltd., Boardman. Sebastiano’s firm took over representing Youngstown-based B&B at that point, he said.

Attorney Marty Desmond said he and Sebastiano have been retained by B&B to pursue “any legal recourse” against individuals who had acted improperly as a result of their association with B&B.

He also said he could not comment on any criminal matter because B&B is still finalizing its investigation into the reason Garea’s representation was terminated.

“B&B is not a subject of any wrongdoing. B&B is the victim here, and we have been and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement because we have been victimized,” Desmond said.

Other items taken from Garea’s office and residence include $66,700 in cash; various tax records and financial documents; and various computers, tables and data storage devices, including a backup hard drive.

In March, investigators executed warrants at NYO’s office and the house of NYO’s Dominic Marchionda.

One of the issues believed to be under investigation is the purchase by a Marchionda entity, in 2009, of the closed fire station at 141 Madison Ave., reportedly for $1 million. That purchase was related to the development of the Flats at Wick student housing complex that USA Campus Suite LLC built in 2010.

Pictured above: Canfield home of attorney Steve Garea, where a search warrant was executed last week.

BACKGROUND
July 12, 2017: Auditor Releases inventory of Last Week’s Raids
July 6, 2017: State Serves Warrants at Bozanich Home, 3 Other Sites
March 17, 2017: Agents Searching NYO, Marchionda’s Home Refuse to Provide Search Warrants
March 17, 2017: BCI, Sheriff Raid NYO Office, Marchionda’s Home
Jan. 16, 2016: City Provides Records of Marchionda Grant Payments
Jan. 7, 2016: Marchionda Fights Subpoenas for Records of City Grants

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.