Government

Bozanich Enters Not Guilty Plea

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Former city finance director David Bozanich has waived his arraignment and entered a written plea of not guilty to state charges of public corruption and bribery, according to the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas.

Bozanich, 61, was booked in Mahoning County Jail at 11:05 a.m. today, according to jail commander Ken Kountz. He was released on a $50,000 own recognizance bond, the court confirms.

Bozanich, former mayor Charles Sammarone and developer Dominic Marchionda were indicted Aug. 30 on a combined 101 counts of public corruption offenses.

Bozanich is “resolved to defend himself,” his defense attorney, Ralph E. Cascarilla of Cleveland, said Friday afternoon.

Sammarone, 75, was booked into Mahoning County Jail Wednesday afternoon and then released on a $50,000 own recognizance bond. He also has filed a written plea of not guilty.

Bozanich is charged with one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, two counts of aggravated theft, 15 counts of bribery, and one count of obstructing justice.

During the discovery process, the state will produce the evidence it claims supports the charges against Bozanich, Cascarilla said. “We’ll evaluate that and decide what the appropriate course of action is after we see what the state’s evidence is,” he said.

The state alleges that while finance director, Bozanich personally benefited “by at least $100,000 in kickbacks or bribes” that were paid to him by an individual identified only as John Doe 6 beginning in 2006 through mid-2013.

Also, the state charges that Bozanich accepted a cash gift of between $20,000 and $25,000 from a John Doe 1 who represented a company in trouble and needed work. The work was related to the development of The Flats at Wick student housing project north of Youngstown State University’s campus.

Marchionda was earlier charged with more than 100 counts of corruption related to The Flats at Wick and other downtown projects. He has pleaded not guilty to those, but has not pleaded to the superseding indictment filed Aug. 30.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.