CLEVELAND (WKBN) – Youngstown Mayor John McNally testified Thursday at the corruption trial of Youngstown attorney Martin Yavorcik.
Proceedings got underway at about 9 a.m. inside the Cleveland courtroom where Youngstown Mayor John McNally just two weeks ago accepted a plea deal in the corruption case surrounding the purchase of Oakhill Renaissance Place. McNally is now being called as a witness for the prosecution as part of his plea bargain.
McNally admitted that he tried to block the move of the county officers to Oakhill Renaissance Center from the Cafaro-owned McGuffey Plaza, but he said he believed he was being truthful and trying to help his colleagues.
McNally is among 30 witnesses, including an attorney for the Cafaro Corporation, who ware expected to testify.
Also testifying Thursday was retired Cafaro Company executive J.J. Cafaro, who said he gave Yavorcik $40,000 for his campaign in 2008, when he was running for county prosecutor. He said he was happy to give him money to run against Paul Gains, who he said misled the county and had given bad and costly advice concerning the Oakhill purchase.
McNally is expected to take the stand again on Friday.
Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino also pleaded guilty last month to charges related to the case which alleges the three men tried to prevent the county from the Cafaro-owned McGuffey Plaza to the Oakhill Renaissance Center.
Prosecutors say Yavorcik agreed in 2008 to drop an investigation into McNally and Sciortino if he became the county prosecutor.