Ohio mayor, ex-auditor receive probation in corruption case


CLEVELAND (AP) — The mayor of Youngstown and the former Mahoning County auditor were sentenced Monday to one year of probation on charges related to a lengthy corruption probe in the Mahoning Valley.

Mayor John McNally and former Auditor Michael Sciortino agreed to a plea deal last month. They originally were indicted in May 2014 on charges that included racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and perjury for what authorities said were illegal efforts to stop the move of county offices from a building owned by a wealthy developer to one owned by the county.

A jury in Cleveland convicted a third defendant, Martin Yavorcik, on Friday of racketeering, bribery and other charges. Authorities accused Yavorcik of making promises as an unsuccessful candidate for Mahoning County prosecutor in 2008 to end the investigation into the office move if elected.

McNally pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to misdemeanors that included falsification, attempted unlawful use of a telecommunications device and attempted unlawful influence of a public official. Sciortino pleaded guilty that same day to felony unlawful interest in a public contract and misdemeanor charges of falsification and receiving or soliciting improper compensation.

Sciortino has a hearing in Cleveland on Thursday to resolve separate charges related to the use of county-owned computers for political and personal business. His attorney didn’t return messages Monday.

McNally’s plea deal allows him to remain mayor. He was elected in 2013.

Authorities said that while McNally was Mahoning County commissioner, he and Sciortino received free legal work from developer Anthony Cafaro in a fight with the county’s other two commissioners to block the move of the county Department of Jobs and Family Services from a Cafaro-owned building to Oakhill Renaissance Place, which the county bought in 2007.

McNally attorney Lynn Maro said McNally has accepted responsibility for his actions. She added that he still thinks moving the county offices to Oakhill, which she called a “money pit” was a mistake. Cafaro’s building has since been demolished.

The Oakhill investigation began in 2006.

“After 10 years of this, we’re certainly glad it’s done,” Maro said.