Betras seeks state probe of Sammarone contribution

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The head of Mahoning County’s Democratic Party is still looking for answers concerning donations made during last fall’s mayoral election in Youngstown.

Chairman Dave Betras has fired off a letter to the director of the Ohio Elections Commission asking for a thorough investigation into the reported cash donation from former mayor Chuck Sammarone to candidate DeMaine Kitchen, who was Sammarone’s chief of staff.

The commission already is reviewing the matter after receiving a formal complaint about the donation last month. According to Ohio state law, no person can donate more than $100 in cash in each primary, special, or general election.

The $4,000 contribution is listed on Kitchen’s finance reports. Betras also requested both Kitchen and Sammarone be placed under oath and asked about the donation.

Kitchen has since repaid some of the contribution.

The agency does have the authority to subpoena the men, but at this point it is not clear whether that will happen when the commission holds a hearing in the case in late June.

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