YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown Mayor John McNally said Thursday he has no intention of stepping down from office, despite a new criminal indictment against him and two others.
McNally said he will fight the new charges just as before and even had a message for those who will urge him to resign from office.
“Save your ink. Save your ink,” he said as he was trying to clean up Thursday from a tree that fell on his home on the city’s West side during Wednesday’s severe weather.
Almost three years after a visiting judge threw out the case against him and others from the first Oakhill case, McNally said he is angered and frustrated by the new 67-page indictment handed up by a grand jury in Cleveland and being prosecuted by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. McNally, along with Mahoning County Auditor Mike Sciortino and one-time Mahoning County prosecutor candidate Marty Yavorcik face a variety of charges, including perjury, money laundering and bribery.
The charges are related to the county’s purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place in 2006.
At the time, McNally was a Mahoning County commissioner and was vocally opposed to buying Oakhill.
“I really think that some folks quite frankly want to see all of us involved in this go down because of the names of people involved and because people actually had the guts to stand up to what they thought was a completely bone-headed decision,” McNally said.
Although the first indictment relating to Oakhill was dismissed in 2011 after a nearly two-year investigation, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told reporters on Wednesday that his staff wanted to take an independent review of the evidence.
“There is some commonalities certainly. At the beginning I said I wanted to take an independent look at the facts surrounding the purchase of the Oakhill Renaissance Place,” DeWine said.
But McNally insists nothing has changed since the first indictment tied to Oakhill was dismissed three years ago.
“I don’t believe I did anything wrong four years ago. I don’t believe I did anything wrong eight years ago when I started to fight this battle. I think our concerns about the whole purchase and all that stuff were entirely well-founded and I believe that to this day,” he said. “I believe there is probably a certain element of politics to everything that is going on here. I don’t really think things magically re-appear over time.”
And what makes this new case different than the last one, which was dismissed after prosecutors claimed they could not have access to thousands of hours of recorded conversations reportedly involving local officials and members of the Cafaro mall development family.
“There were some issues on evidence that were raised and all the evidence was not available,” DeWine said.
DeWine would not say whether those tapes will be used in this case.
McNally, Sciortino and Yavorcik are all to appear in court on their charges later this month.