COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Bribery; theft; tampering with records; fraud; the corruption described in a 74-page indictment released by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is shocking, according to State Auditor Dave Yost.
Yost’s staff participated in the two-year investigation that led to the indictment Monday.
Named in the indictment was Dominic Marchionda, a Youngstown businessman with ties to more than 60 companies in the city.
Marchionda is facing 101 felony charges himself while several of businesses he owns and runs are also facing charges.
The indictment also indicates eight other individuals, John Doe 1 through 8, are involved. In a description of them, John Doe 8 is said to be a public official working for the City of Youngstown.
At one point the indictment reads, “John Doe 1 was told that ‘we need to take care of (John Doe 8)’.”
The court document states John Doe 1 paid John Doe 8 cash so that the Flats at Wick project would receive financial assistance from the City of Youngstown.
The document goes on to state later that the criminal operation began in the Spring of 2009 with a $25,000 bribe to a city official from a Youngstown based business to ensure that the Flats at Wick project would obtain city approval and to “take care of Dave”.
The indictment also describes how Youngstown’s Finance Director David Bozanich on or about May 7th, 2009 declared that property owned by the City of Youngstown which was being used as a fire station was surplus city property and should be sold for economic development purposes.
That property ended up being sold to Marchionda, through his company DJM Rental Properties, but it was another of his companies U.S. Campus Suites that ended up with it. That company was involved in the Flats at Wick project that was eventually constructed on the site.
Marchionda’s home was raided by investigators in March.
In July, Bozanich’s home along with two other homes and an office were raided.
Currently, only Marchionda is facing criminal charges as a result of the indictment.
John Doe 1 through 8 have not been charged, but Auditor Yost is confident that more charges are likely.
“The Mahoning Valley and Youngstown have made some strides to put behind them their image, and it’s unfortunate that we’ve got a situation like this occurring,” said Yost. “But at the end of the day, justice needs to be done; and it will be.”
As of Monday, David Bozanich is still employed by the City of Youngstown but not in his office. A call to his office for comment was not returned.