Trial Date in Public Corruption Case to Be Determined in May

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A trial date for three defendants indicted on 101 counts of public corruption should be determined by the end of May.

Former Mayor Charles Sammarone, former Finance Director David Bozanich and developer Dominic Marchionda of Poland met with their attorneys and prosecutor Dan Kasaris this morning in Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney’s court to discuss procedural matters in the case.

Attorney Ralph Cascarilla, who represents Bozanich, said a second pre-trial status conference is set for May 31 at 11 a.m., at which time a trial date is to be arranged.

Defendants showed up at the courthouse just before 11 a.m. this morning. The pre-trial conference lasted about 40 minutes.

Bozanich, Sammarone and Marchionda were indicted Aug. 31 on 101 counts of public corruption charges. The Ohio Auditor of State’s Public Integrity Assurance Team and attorney general David Yost’s office is leading the investigation.

The indictment alleges that Bozanich and Sammarone, while serving in a public capacity, accepted bribes from representatives of companies – namely “John Doe 1” and “John Doe 6” – in return for providing assistance from the city.

John Doe 1 has since been confirmed as Philip Beshara, former president of B&B Construction. The indictment alleges that Beshara bribed Bozanich $25,000 in order to gain city support for The Flats at Wick project, a student housing development that the contractor and Marchionda were planning to build.

In September, The Business Journal revealed that John Doe 6 is Raymond Briya, a former employee at MS Consultants in Youngstown. The indictment alleges that “John Doe 6” paid bribes to both Sammarone and Bozanich to steer city contracts to the company he worked for. The indictment emphasizes that no one at the company was aware of John Doe 6’s actions.

Marchionda is charged with using hundreds of thousands of dollars in city loans and grants intended for development projects for his own personal gain.

Sammarone, Bozanich and Marchionda have pled not guilty to the charges.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.