Politics

Trial Date Set for Public Corruption Case

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney has set a June 1, 2020, trial date for two former city officials and a local developer who were indicted last year on public corruption charges.

Former Mayor Charles Sammarone, former finance director David Bozanich and developer Dominic Marchionda were indicted in August 2018 on 101 counts of bribery and other corruption charges. 

The three men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Sweeney met Friday with the defendants’ attorneys and Dan Kasaris, special assistant county prosecutor and assistant state attorney general, to determine the schedule going forward, Sweeney’s office said.

Hearings on a pretrial motion are scheduled for Jan. 23 and 24 and a final pretrial conference is scheduled for May 27, 2020.

Sammarone has requested that his trial be separated from the others and the state has until the end of June to file an objection, Sweeney’s office said.

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 Contractors. 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 2018, The Business Journal revealed that John Doe 6 is Raymond Briya, a former employee at MS Consultants in Youngstown. 

The indictment alleges that he 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. 

Related Coverage

Sammarone, Bozanich Indicted in Marchionda Probe

City Records Shed Light on Companies Caught Up in Corruption Probe

B&B Contractors Rebuilds Amid Corruption Probe

MS Consultants Confirms It’s Cooperating in Corruption Probe

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.