City Finance Director Responds: ‘I’ve Done Nothing Wrong’
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City Finance Director David Bozanich maintained his innocence this morning following his naming in the 101-count indictment yesterday of downtown developer Dominic Marchionda.
“I’ve done nothing wrong and time will tell,” Bozanich said as he headed into Mayor John McNally’s office this morning.
Bozanich, a longtime city finance department employee, has been involved in economic development efforts for some 30 years. In the indictment, Bozanich is accused of allowing $1 million of a $1.2 million water and sewer grant the city awarded to one of Marchionda’s companies, U.S. Campus suites LLC, to be used to buy a vacant fire station from the city, in violation of state law.
The indictment makes reference to a $25,000 bribe paid in 2009 to a city official to ensure U.S. Campus Suites’ Flats at Wick student housing project would get city approval and to “take care of Dave,” although it does not specify that the “Dave” identified is Bozanich.
An individual identified as John Doe 1, who worked for a company benefiting from the Flats at Wick project, was told that “We needed to take care of” an individual only identified as John Doe 8.
A spokesman for the Ohio auditor would not confirm that Bozanich was John Doe 8.
Investigators executed warrants in July at two properties linked to Bozanich, including his residence.
One of the search warrants was executed at this residence in Canfield.
McNally said his meeting with Bozanich this morning concerned upcoming city development projects. They had discussed the indictment in a meeting yesterday.
There are no plans to put Bozanich on administrative leave or for any other change in his status, the mayor said.
“I’m not going to make any decisions based on the phrases and the allegations in the indictment,” he said. “We will wait and see how things proceed from here.” Marchionda is accused of diverting “at least $600,000 from city of Youngstown funds” to companies he controlled and then to himself in order “to support his lavish lifestyle” (READ STORY).
The criminal enterprise, the indictment states, amounted to a “Ponzi Scheme” that involved Marchionda and eight unnamed individuals as well as Rubino Construction Inc., the company founded by Marchionda and his father-in-law, Fernando Rubino, in 1994; U.S. Campus Suites, Erie Terminal Place LLC, Wick Properties LLC; Villa Di Tuscany LLC; and other entities also not named. Rubino was charged with 56 criminal counts, U.S. Campus seven, Erie Terminal four, Wick Properties 16, and Villas Di Tuscany 16.
Separately, at this morning’s meeting of the city’s design review committee, no representative of Marchionda’s company, NYO Property Group, showed up to address a request for a wall-mounted sign for the Kitchen Post, which is moving into NYO’s Erie terminal Place.
The Struthers restaurant, which plans to move this year into the space formerly occupied by the M Gallery, is requesting to put a wall-mounted sign on the building, 112 W. Commerce St.
Linda Fowler, Kitchen Post general manager, who had applied for the sign, called later yesterday morning asking about the time of the meeting, Ray DeCarlo, city zoning specialist, said. “She just submitted her application on Friday and I thought she knew the when and where,” he said.
DeCarlo said he would contact members of the committee to get informal approval of the sign, which would replace the existing M Gallery sign in the same location and is the same size, but if unsuccessful by this weekend the request would be added to next months agenda.
During the meeting, the committee approved a request by Jerome Franklin, owner of Starting Lineup Barber and Beauty Shop, to install two three-foot by six-foot digital signs at the entrance of the Realty Tower, another NYO property.
Pictured at top: House of Youngstown Finance Director David Bozanich.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.