CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – No decision was made Friday in a Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas to drop several charges in the Oakhill Renaissance Place criminal corruption trial.
In fact, there wasn’t a word said in open court. All of the talking was done in the judge’s chambers.
Judge Janet Burnside has asked for a leaner case, and on Thursday, the prosecution offered to dismiss 28 of the 73 counts against the three defendants in order to streamline the process and prevent duplication of charges. No decision was made on Friday to give time for the defense to look over the motion.
“We have to respond legally to indicate whether we have any objection,” said defense attorney John Juhasz. “If we don’t, then the judge will schedule a hearing, and that will be taken care of formally in court. That has to be done in court, on the record.”
On Friday, the defense also filed a motion to dismiss the case, based on the special prosecutor that was appointed to handle the trial. They say that prosecutor was appointed illegally.
A judge did not make a decision on that motion either.
The trial date was moved up one day to February 29. It was originally set for March 1.
Another pretrial is set for February 18.
The two sides also agreed that the case will be held four days a week, since there are 100 witnesses and hours of secretly-recorded conversations that are going to take up the bulk of the trial.
Current Mayor John McNally, former county auditor Mike Sciortino and attorney Martin Yavorcik are all charged in the case. They are accused of trying to stop the county’s purchase of the old South Side Hospital and to move the Department of Job and Family Services out of the Cafaro-owned McGuffey Mall.