YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Former mayor Charles Sammarone was formerly booked Wednesday in Mahoning County Jail and then released.
Sammarone, former city finance director David Bozanich, and developer Dominic Marchionda were indicted last week on public corruption charges.
“It’s the legal version of ‘War and Peace’,” said Sammarone’s attorney, John Shultz, of the indictment. “It just goes on and on and on.”
Sammarone has filed a written plea of not guilty on all counts, and was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.
The indictment alleges that Sammarone accepted bribes totaling more than $10,000 in return for steering contracts to an unnamed vendor for city work.
Sammarone, 75, served as mayor between 2011 and 2013, and was indicted on one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, nine count of bribery, three counts of tampering with records, and one count of falsification.
Prosecutors say that a recording of Sammarone has the former mayor saying that he is “old school” and that “one hand washes the other.”
Shultz said he is especially interested as to who recorded Sammarone and suspects that the party has recordings of other individuals as well.
“That person is someone I really want to go after,” he said.
According to the indictment, Sammarone “solicited and then received cash from an individual identified as “John Doe 6” in return for steering city projects to an unnamed company.
He is accused of accepting payoffs of between $1,000 and $1,500 per month over a 23-month period, prosecutors say. Furthermore, the indictment alleges that Sammarone hid the payments on his public ethics disclosure forms.
Bozanich, 61, is also charged with accepting benefits from John Doe 6, and allege that the ex-finance director received $100,000 in payments from the party through a travel agency that he owned between 2006 and 2013.
Bozanich is also accused of accepting between $20,000 and $25,000 in cash from a John Doe 1 in relation to the Flats at Wick project.
Marchionda, who spearheaded the Flats at Wick and several downtown development projects, was indicted in October 2017 for using $600,000 in public money for his personal use. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“I didn’t know there were that many people in Mahoning County named John Doe,” Shultz said.
Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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