Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Spotsy Mall developer indicted
Anthony M. Cafaro Sr. and the Cafaro Company, who developed the Spotsylvania Towne Centre off State Route 3, were handed indictments today on charges of engaging in corrupt activity, bribery and conspiracy.
The indictments came after an investigation by the Lorain County Prosecuting Attorney and the Ohio Ethics commission.
A press release from the Lorain County Prosecuting Office states that the Mahoning County, OH, Grand Jury returned a 73-count indictment today, charging a total of seven people and three organizations with multiple felony charges and misdemeanors.
The indictments charge that the owners of Garland Plaza, The Ohio Valley mall, The Cafaro Company, The Marion Plaza and Anthony M. Cafaro Sr. “conspired with County Commissioner John A. McNally IV, former County Treasurer John Reardon, County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino, former County Job and Family Services Director John Zachariah, attorney Martin Yavorcik, and Flora Cafaro to prevent or delay the relocation of the county’s JFS offices.”
More details about what happened can be found here at Vindy.com
Cafaro Sr. was indicted on two counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felony), two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felonies), three counts of perjury (third-degree felonies), four counts of bribery (third-degree felonies), and three counts of money laundering, (third-degree felonies).
The Cafaro Company was indicted on two counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (second-degree felony), two counts of conspiracy (third-degree felonies), four counts of bribery, and three counts of money laundering.
The other people and organizations named in the indictments are: Ohio Valley Mall Company, The Marion Plaza Inc., John A. McNally IV, John Reardon, Michael V. Sciortino, John Zachariah, Martin Yavorcik and Flora Cafaro.
The maximum penalty for a second-degree felony is eight years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. The maximum penalty for a third-degree felony is five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine; and the maximum penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
The Cafaro Company has denied any wrongdoing.
The company released the following statement:
We learned today that a Mahoning County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against The Cafaro Company and two related entities. These charges arise out of a 2006 taxpayer lawsuit that challenged the decision of the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners to purchase Oak Hill Renaissance Place. The taxpayer lawsuit raised concerns about the hidden, multi-million dollar costs to the Mahoning County taxpayers of purchasing Oakhill. The lawsuit brought by Ohio Valley Mall Company exercised its right as a taxpayer to oppose wasteful and excessive spending of taxpayer monies. Subsequent events have proven that this opposition to the multi-million dollar purchase of the Oakhill facility was correct. The Cafaro Company and its related entities are innocent of these meritless allegations.
Anthony Cafaro Sr. released the following statement:
Statement by Anthony M. Cafaro, Sr.
Preamble by Counsel for Anthony M. Cafaro, Sr.
This is a public statement provided by Mr. Anthony M. Cafaro, Sr. for release to the media. He will not be answering any questions or providing further comment. The Mahoning County Grand Jury today returned charges against Mr. Cafaro arising out of a 2006 taxpayer lawsuit that challenged the decision of the Mahoning County Board of Commissioners to purchase Oakhill Renaissance Place. The taxpayer lawsuit raised concerns about the hidden, multi-million dollar costs to the Mahoning County taxpayers of purchasing Oakhill. The tax payer lawsuit was brought by Ohio Valley Mall.
Statement by Anthony M. Cafaro, Sr.
“I intend to plead not guilty to these meritless charges. I look forward to proving my innocence. The taxpayers of Mahoning County are now paying for the ill-advised decision to purchase Oakhill Renaissance Place. My warnings about the costs to the taxpayers have been correct. This unfounded indictment will not silence my opposition to irresponsible governance. ”