(WKBN) — Monday started with former Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor Marty Desmond detailing what he called illegal activities in the prosecutor’s office and ended with Prosecutor Paul Gains refuting and denying everything.
Four days ago, Desmond was given $550,000 to drop his lawsuits against the county. But Monday, Desmond cited cases, named names and claimed illegal activities in the prosecutor’s office. Since none of them have been charged, First News is not naming them.
Desmond’s news conference included four boxes of evidence that he claims show illegal activities taking place in the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office.
“We also uncovered a history of alleged constitutional violations spanning over 15 years,” said Desmond.
“I think that Mr. Desmond sees crimes that don’t exist. He sees misconduct that doesn’t exist,” said Gains.
Desmond detailed specific cases like campaign contributions that Desmond says Gains accepted illegally — that Gains would not allow Desmond to investigate.
“Where the evidence showed and suggested that money was the result of bribery by one of his own assistant prosecutors,” said Desmond.
Gains said the case was given to the FBI and then he read from a letter: “‘Federal prosecution has been declined for technical and policy reasons.’ My suspicion is that they had no evidence.”
Desmond claims he was fired because he was getting too close to uncovering the cases involving illegal actions.
“And it’s been our position that my termination was done to prevent number one, that information from coming to light, and number two, to prevent the prosecution and/or further investigation of those individuals,” said Desmond.
Gains says Desmond was fired because of poor judgment.
“Yes. Poor judgment, not being truthful with me when I gave him a pre-disciplinary hearing to which he was not entitled under the law. But I wanted to hear what’s going on here Marty? Why are you doing this? Give me some reason not to discipline you. And instead, he wasn’t truthful,” said Gains.
Desmond said later the reason the case was settled was because “when it came time to be cross-examined, Gains chickened out and settled the case.”
But Gains said, “That was the insurance carrier and insurance counsel. They took a look at the cost of defense, the cost of defense with this continuing litigation and they made an economic decision.”
Gains said he did nothing wrong, and when asked if he wanted to take it to court he answered: “What do you think?”
Desmond’s news conference lasted an hour and 15 minutes. It was very detailed. They repeatedly said they had the evidence to back up their claims. Gains had evidence, too, but spent his time refuting Desmond’s claims, asking reporters what he had said and then answering.