WATCH: Yost gets 90 days

Victims make statements at sentencing hearing; former mobile home park operator off to jail
Courtney Astolfi
Jul 9, 2014

astolfi@sanduskyregister.com

Click on video screen below

UPDATE 4 p.m. : Joe Yost will spend the next 90 days in jail.

Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette this afternoon sentenced Yost to 180 days in jail, the maximum allowed by law, but suspended half of that sentence. He also ordered Yost to 500 hours of community service, to be carried out within two years following his release from jail. The time is to be split between two organizations: 250 hours in an area homeless shelter and 250 hours in an area food kitchen.

In addition, Yost will be required to secure full-time employment after his release from jail, but if he is not employed, he must prove to the court that he's submitting at least 14 applications per week.

Further, Yost was ordered to pay the $2,717.17 in restitution originally established in the plea deal earlier this year, plus court costs and a $1,000 penalty, the maximum permitted by law.

Check back later for more updates.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Joe Yost is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The Register will livestream the sentencing hearing from the Erie County Courthouse.

The Hoppers mobile home park owner whose actions forced numerous low-income residents from their homes last year pleaded guilty to just one misdemeanor charge in June—and will be sentenced on that charge Thursday.

A special prosecutor has recommended Joe Yost pay just $2,717 in restitution and not be sentenced to jail time, only community-controlled sanctions.

But multiple former tenants are outraged by the plea and some told the Register they weren't consulted prior to the deal.

The city, citing $260,000 in unpaid water bills, shut off water access to the Venice Road park in August, ousting all those who lived there.

Yost was subsequently indicted for felony theft because he allegedly collected water payments from those residents but never turned those payments over to the city.

Sandusky police detectives were tasked with figuring out just how much money was stolen. They could only account for $2,700 in stolen funds—mostly, detectives said, because residents didn't keep crystal-clear records of the amounts they paid Yost.

During court proceedings earlier this year, Medina County prosecutor Dean Holman, who was assigned as a special prosecutor to Yost's case, named the city of Sandusky as a victim.

But Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Binette told Holman to give the real victims— the ones from whom Yost stole water payments—a chance to weigh in on Yost's fate.

On June 16, Holman and Yost struck a deal: rather than the two felony theft charges Yost was indicted on, he instead pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor theft. During that hearing, Holman told Binette the city approved of the deal as long as the tenants did—and Holman said the tenants indeed raised no objections to the plea.

However, it appears the prosecution only considered the input of six former Hoppers tenants “because those were the ones who had receipts to prove that they paid water (bills),” Holman told the Register Tuesday.

“None of them objected (to the plea). None of them indicated they had a problem,” Holman said.

Holman refused to name which Hoppers residents he spoke with.

“I'm not going to say what tenants they were,” Holman said.

Multiple tenants, however, told the Register they were not contacted by the prosecutor's office. Those same tenants also said they brought receipts and records to Sandusky police when detectives were investigating the thefts late last year.

“I think it's B.S. I do think he should spend time in jail for this,” said nine-year Hoppers resident Bonita Scroggy.

“We paid him and then we lost our homes. We should get some kind of closure. They never called me before the plea— I didn't get a call until after. I am going to be at the sentencing hearing and I will speak and tell them I do not think its fair,” Scroggy said.

Another resident, Brenda Hosko, shared Scroggy's concerns.

“I showed my records where I paid it and I wasn't even subpoenaed to go to court, only five people were. They only reached out to some,” Hosko said.

“I don't think it's right and I don't think it's fair. I paid for mine, and I got screwed. (Yost) forced people out of homes they lived in all their life." 

Brian and Heather Tucker, meanwhile, expressed their frustration with Holman in particular.

“This Dean Holman, he's a joke,” Brian said.

“I think Holman's come down from Medina and just wants to hurry up and get this case out of the way,” Heather said.

“He didn't have no kind of compassion or decency. He was rude, didn't want to hear what I had to say and told me I wasn't the victim, the city was,” Heather said.

The couple went so far as to write a letter to the court, expressing their frustration. Heather said a victim's advocate told her Holman didn't want to deal with her “because she's feisty,” Heather said.

“The advocate said 'She's not feisty, she's mad.' We're mad because we got kicked out on the street and are out all this money,” Heather said.

Yet another tenant, Lisa Spears, weighed in.

“I think he should have more punishment. I know a lot of people want to see him be punished more,” Spears said.

Two other residents—Olivia Scisinger and Tina Hall—attended Yost's plea hearing last month.

Scisinger said she has mixed feelings about the deal.

“I'm happy but I'm not happy with it. Like I'd like to see him go to jail, but I don't think him going to jail is going to learn him a lesson,” Scisinger said.

“He threw us all on the streets and our kids out on the streets—I wanted him to sit behind bars for years, but it's going to be us paying for him to sit in jail with our tax money all over again,” Scisinger said.

“He should have to do community service, I think he'll finally learn a lesson,” Scisinger said.

Hall had a similar view.

“I wish he would've gotten more, but you've got to get what you can. I hope he gets real heavy on the community service, I think the taxpayers have paid enough to the man. At least it'll be done and over with and I can get my life going back again,” Hall said.

Yost's sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday in Binette's courtroom.

Watch in the player below or live at sanduskyregister.com

 

Comments

Little Giant

Why is it that if a landlord shuts off the utilities they can go to jail yet Yost effectively did this to the whole trailer park and nothing happens? There were not individual meters so that responsibility fell on his shoulders and he failed. I think new charges should be drawn up because the punishment clearly does not match the crime.

overthis099

I totally agree! He put all these people out on the streets how can he just walk away? I would think the city would be mad unless they have been told to keep their mouth shut. Why aren't the city commissioners looking into this? Is Joe Yost maybe related to a city commissioner? Hmmmm

Truth or Dare

Now this doesn't surprise me at all! They don't call us little brother to Cuyahoga County for nothing. The pro quo/back scratching within the city, county and the court is crystal clear and has been. I smell yet another lawsuit, maybe a class action lawsuit on the horizon w/lawyers that aren't local. There should be.

nightroller's picture
nightroller

Anyone else who did this would of went to jail and still would of had to pay back the $260,000 plus court costs. But no, this clown gets to walk free and screw more people out of money while living high off the hog. Something ain't right here, he must have friends in high places. Hang the fluffer now while you have the chance.

Babo

There are so many problems with this case, it's hard to know where to begin. Here's a few:

1) It appears that Dean Holman an officer of the court LIED to the court about the tenants approval of the deal. That's contempt of court and Holman needs to be charged by the Court with contempt; removed ASAP as special prosecutor; and reported to the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court by Judge Binette consistent with his duties under the law to ensure integrity in the administration of justice. Holman clearly has no integrity and based on statements in this article he has undermined/obstructed justice in a criminal case.

2) Holman was never lawfully appointed as special prosecutor in this case but "assigned" by Baxter who has no authority to hire a special prosecutor to create an appearance of impartiality when he appears biased and acting for Baxter. Again this is alleged obstruction of justice and indicates IMO a conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity by undermining the criminal prosecution of Yost.

Holman is employed full time by Medina County and he took an oath in that county to serve the people of Medina county. He took no oath in this county and has no jurisdiction in Erie County nor is there any contract with him to serve as special prosecutor executed by the County Commissioners who have the legal authority to hire a special prosecutor to represent the county in criminal cases. He is IMO committing theft in office from Medina County by working in Erie County while being paid by Medina County.

3) The SPD probably tried their best but this is a classic white collar money laundering and fraud case and they do not have the skill set to handle these types of large financial crimes. The case required the expertise of forensic accountants and law enforcement agencies such as the criminal division of the IRS to subpoena personal and bank records to track the cash and demonstrate that he was using the cash to pay personal expenses to sustain a lifestyle beyond his means. One doesn't need receipts for cash to make the case but the statements of the tenants combined with evidence of how he maintains a high lifestyle to demonstrate the criminal tax evasion and fraud.

Judge Binette has a hot potato on his hands. He should do the right thing by removing Holman from the case; vacate the plea agreement as procured by fraud on the court; and stay the case pending the appointment of a special prosecutor from the AG's office. That office can then bring a superseding Indictment reflecting the true nature of Yost's crimes.

MrSandusky

Babo is spot on, but it will never happen. Life will go on, Yost will be a free man with a minimal fine, Holman will continue to create havoc across northern Ohio, and the voters will keep voting for Binette and Baxter. There are a very few in this area that get what is going on, a very few that see what is happening. The others see it all as someone else's problem and let it continue.

Julie R.

You're spot on with your comment, too, with the exception of "the voters will keep voting for Binette and Baxter." As I'm sure you already know, nobody ever runs against them. Same with Beverly McGookey.

Commenter

Babo-You should start writing articles for the Register. You're very well spoken!

Julie R.

Agree.

DickTracey

Commenter, it is true that the Register does hire convicted felons, but I'm pretty sure they would not touch this one with a ten foot pole.

Kelly

lol That's exactly what I was thinking. I doubt anyone would hire her.

Babo

Thank you.

ladydye_5

So the tenants didn't keep records of how much the water bill was? How much did HE owe the city??? DUH? That makes no sense that they are laying this at the tenants feet of what was owed? Where are HIS records of what he was billing the tenants? It goes both ways. Sounds like his bookkeeping was no better. And everything thinks I am crazy for how much paperwork I keep. I have boxes of ALL of my old bills. Old statements and old receipts. I may horde but it is all financial paperwork. This is the exact reason why.

Babo

Agreed. All SPD had to do was obtain his business records for the park. If they reflect the tenants paid him and he didn't pay the water bill that's enough to indict him for all the thefts. The tenants don't need receipts as he has to keep business records per IRS regulations for the business. And if he falsified the records well that's another charge.

Also this case is a great example of the failure of the US Attorney's office for ND Ohio to effectively protect the people and government subdivisions in small counties against alleged public corruption involving county officials such as Holman and Baxter and their politically connected friends. There's a minimum $260,000 theft from Sandusky, the thefts from the residents, as well as income tax evasion yet the Feds are nowhere to be found due probably to friendships with the officials involved. It's why I am not surprised by the statement by the US Attorney's office in the Burdine case seeking IMO to discourage complaints to Washington about area public officials.

worddrow811

fyi, lady dye, I think the statute for keeping old records is 7 years worth. I used to keep them longer, too, but with the computer era, I started throwing them out as everything is on a computer somewhere.

ladydye_5

Computers crash and banks make you pay by the page. I'll keep them in the basement. And when you are questioning the bank...I do not trust them.

8ballinthesidepocket

Not at the IRS, their computers all crashed at the same time as did those who received their emails. Keep the paper copy!

deertracker

If they know how much is owed the rest can be figured out. He's claiming the tenants never paid him. Liar!

JT Adams St

It's curious that the purported "prosecutor" is willing to give credence to Yost's statements, in spite of the fact that he's an admitted criminal, yet is unwilling to give credence to the statements of the victims, who lost their homes, and did nothing wrong. Fortunately, unlike Holman, Judge Binette has to face Erie County voters. Hopefully, he will not sign off on this deal.

Babo

Judge Binette already accepted the guilty plea on June 16, 2014 based on what appear to be false representations of Holman concerning the tenants agreement.

On Thursday, Judge Binette has two options: 1) to move forward with sentencing on the plea of guilty to the misdemeanor; or 2) vacating the plea deal after hearing from tenants that Holman made material false representations concerning their views to the court to induce the court to accept the plea deal (fraud) and removing Holman as special prosecutor based on that alleged misconduct.

JT Adams St

Can he give Yost jail time on the misdemeanor?

Babo

Yes, a maximum of 180 days.

twosenseworth

The City of Sandusky surely knows how much water was dispensed for the trailer park, and they also should know how much money was paid for the water in return. They know how much water I use per month, and they also know how much I owe for the water used. I cannot believe that the City of Sandusky is willing to forgive Yost for allegedly pocketing the money rather than paying the water bill. When I come in with my water bill in hand, they expect full payment.

Commenter

EXACTLY - They know how much he owed. Does it matter how much they can account that tenants paid him? HE was responsible for the water bill.
HE SHOULD Have kept records of WHAT his tenants OWE and who paid and who did not.
What a freaking JOKE. If I miss a water bill, I get a late notice, if I don't pay after that, my water is shut off. What does the water dept. say about that??? WHY did they let it go on?
Is someone really willing to let this man go with a smack on the wrist.
Dang I wish I owned rentals in Sandusky. I could pay $2700 for a $260K loan! What a deal!!!!!!!

worddrow811

this is an example of how lawyers influence sentences by their choice of who gets to testify and what select questions are asked. does anyone remember that one witness was arrested for stealing from a veteran at the OVH? Yost will get his, too! Karma never fails.

Julie R.

Why don't the tenants get a class-action lawsuit against Yost and another against the city of Sandusky?

worddrow811

maybe because they don't know whom to trust for a lawyer.

8ballinthesidepocket

Who is going to pay for that?

LevelHeaded

A civil suit needs to be started by the tenants misplaced from heir homes. Never let this man have enough money to pay his OWN water bill again... Put his butt on the streets....

Ralph J.

"pleaded guilty to just one misdemeanor charge in June" Why only one count? There were multiple people and events.
"A special prosecutor has recommended Joe Yost pay just $2,717 in restitution" Restitution to the city or to the victims of this con artist?
"Sandusky police detectives were tasked with figuring out just how much money was stolen. They could only account for $2,700 in stolen funds—mostly, detectives said, because residents didn't keep crystal-clear records of the amounts they paid Yost"
What about the $260,000 for not paid water? Wouldn't that be the same as stolen? Not paid for then it is stolen.
"During court proceedings earlier this year, Medina County prosecutor Dean Holman, who was assigned as a special prosecutor to Yost's case, named the city of Sandusky as a victim." VICTIM? Sandusky is the victim of this scam? More like Sandusky was AIDING AND ABETTING Yost for $260,000.
"Holman refused to name which Hoppers residents he spoke with." REFUSE? WHY? Maybe the Hoppers residents were fictitious, a figment of Holman's imagination. Holman must think that we are a bunch of dummies.
"“I'm not going to say what tenants they were,” Holman said." WHY NOT?

http://medinacorruption.blogspot...

http://medinacountyprosecutor.co...

FEDERAL INVESTIGATION NOW! Yost didn't do this all on his own. He had help. How does anybody not pay taxes and gets free water for years and not pay a $260,000 water bill? I smell a conspiracy! FEDERAL INVESTIGATION NOW! RICO!

Julie R.

"Holman named the city of Sandusky as a victim. VICTIM? Sandusky is the victim of this scam? More like Sandusky was AIDING AND ABETTING Yost for $260,000."

Excellent.

Julie R.

Was Dean Holman also one of the "special prosecutors" that handled the $200K in back taxes owed by Baxter & his rich friends that were "forgiven" by Jo Dee Fantozz?

Babo

No. Baxter had an assistant prosecutor from Geauga County review the Island Express case involving his and his friends interests who were also members in that company and had him drag the process out. As I recall Baxter had the majority stake at 30%.

Baxter needed to delay county action to seize company assets to pay the tax debt as Island Express also had loan(s) to Citizens Bank which Baxter and other members in the company had personally guaranteed. You see, Island Express was funded mostly by grants and loans from government agencies including about $500,000 grant from the US through the Ohio Department of Transportation to purchase a boat. Now the government should have had an interest in that boat for the back taxes but Baxter and Co. needed to use the proceeds of the sale of that boat and others as the business collapsed to pay off the business loan to Citizens bank which they personally guaranteed.

By referring the matter out, Baxter was able to delay long enough so that all the assets of the business were sold or transferred, leaving nothing behind in the Island Express limited liability company for the State to go after to pay the taxes. Because it's a limited liability company Baxter and Co. are not liable for the company debts but only those debts that they also had to personally guarantee.

The company should have been placed in receivership by the County, State and other creditors before the members had a chance to sell off or transfer assets. There has never been a thorough audit of the finances of that company to my knowledge or an investigation into the propriety of Baxter having an ownership stake in a company receiving state and federal funding or the propriety of his controlling the investigation of himself and his company on the tax issue. You'll be happy to learn that Erie County Commissioners even paid private lawyers fee bills on behalf of the company just after Baxter gave a former Commissioner a deal through a special prosecutor on his sexual solicitation of a minor felony charge.

It's also interesting to note that some of his fellow members and close friends in Island Express are enjoying the good life upon their large Yacht after exploiting federal and state money to fund the company and then hosing the government tax authorities. Slick.

Julie R.

By referring the matter out, slick Baxter was able to delay long enough so that all the assets were sold or transferred, leaving nothing behind in the Island Express to go after?

Gee, not to sound like a broken record or anything but that's EXACTLY what the Erie County probate court did when they gave that crook Huron insurance agent and the manager of a Huron bank two years after my mother's death to get everything left from contracts that were criminally changed before her death transferred out of her name and into the joint bank accounts of a wealthy old Italian stepfather and his stepdaughter before a snake Lorain County attorney filed that joke forged Will (prepared by my mother's Huron attorneys) that said: "All property, real and personal, went to the spouse."

But that wasn't all the probate court gave the dirt-bags two years to do. The probate court also gave them enough time in that 2-year period for a wealthy old Italian stepfather to give away all the joint assets that he never had to spend down for Medicaid eligiblity. (the reason behind the criminal changes of my mother's contracts and the money from her side of the family that were not joint assets) They did that by --- immediately after my mother's death and even before I knew what the scum-bags had done ~ that snake Lorain County attorney prepared a 10-page POA and without telling what the "assets" were the 10-page POA gave his two attorneys-in-fact (his stepdaughter and his sister) the right to make any gifts out of any "assets" to themselves and also the right to make any gifts out of any "assets" to his Italian side of the family, meaning his 3 other siblings. (which I'm sure made my mother's Huron Italian attorneys smile real wide)

In other words, like the slick Baxter pulled off, the probate court made sure by the time a stepfather passed away a short time after they filed that forged Will in my mother's estate, there was nothing left in his estate to go after, either.

They sure do have a racket going on in corrupt Erie County, don't they?

Julie R.

I also know that when one gives away all of their assets before their death the probate court judge and the county auditor have that information. I also know I had every right to request it and I did. Beverly McGookey ignored the request.

So who had the "information" about where the assets went in Baxter's ferry boat business? The Erie County auditor? If so, was it Hammond or Tom Paul or both?

dorothy gale

This is a travesty! These people lost their HOMES! Why aren't all of this scumbag's assets being siezed?

SamAdams

I realize that people are different. I understand that some people are richer, prettier, more talented, more athletic, or smarter than others. I get that those factors can change the way that others treat you. But last time I checked, justice was supposed to be BLIND!

Justice isn't supposed to care how much money you have or who your friends are. The bottom line here: Justice may be blind, but her representatives wear blinders made of relationships (financial and otherwise), quid pro quo favors and payoffs (financial or otherwise), and are biased as a result in the extreme.

If you stole, embezzled, or defrauded a quarter of a million dollars, you'd go to jail and your sentence wouldn't be a short one! If I lied, cheated, skirted, or outright broke the law, I'd be behind bars with you. But Mr. Yost does those things and it's proposed he forfeit what amounts to pocket change? And he gets no jail time at all? How exactly does THAT translate to equal treatment under the law?

bnjjad

90 Days was imposed of the 180 sentenced. He will be released to 3 years of Probation after the 90 days served.

I appluad the court in at least holding him to the maximum that they could.

Julie R.

Applaud the court? Are you for real?

bnjjad

The Court did everything IT could within the law. I am not applauding the prosecutor, the defense, or even Police department (since they didn't get HIS records either).

I would have much rather seen this case a different way where the city got full restitution and he lose everything. However this case was difficult and the Court did everything it could within the confines that were set.

I don't blame the people who cant control the investigation or charges for not doing something different.

Are you for real?

WeThePeople1965

They should have seized enough property to pay for the $200,000+ he owed to the city, in addition to paying back the countless amount of money that these residents paid to him. He sat in court not looking like he gave a damn what he did.

bnjjad

They cant. Since they were paying him under an LLC they cant go after his personal assets. He was at least smart enough to do that.

As for assets, I am not sure how much he has left to begin with. He is "renting" a $260K house for $1K a month (per the Judges comments regarding the Defense attny bringing up his "hardship") and the rest of his properties are in Receivership for foreclosure. I did a look up for Westgate properties and there are only 2 left and both are the lots in question here (Hoppers, and the Sunoco Station out front) and there was nothing under his name.

Julie R.

Oh, come on already. Do you honestly believe the crap you're spewing about the court doing everything it could within the law? Bull. This joke sentence is just another scam that you can bet was all planned out months & months ago. You can also bet had it not been for all the media attention on it, Binette would have shown his true colors to the victims right from the start.

bnjjad

Seriously? What do you mean it didn't? The law CLEARLY states that a maximum of 180 days in jail and $1000 fine and 5 Years of Community Control Sanctions. He got the full jail time (90 days suspended dependent on the results of his 3 Years of CC Sanctions) and the full fine + court costs and the agreed upon restitution. He also was slapped with 500hrs of Community service as well and mandatory gainful employment with the Control Sanctions.

Binette could NOT do anything else than that because the charges that were filed and plea'd to were that. If you want to blame someone, blame the state for their investigation skills.

Do you live in a dreamland where the court can do whatever it wants when it wants in situations like this? You should be happy he got the max and didn't just get the slap with paying restitution and that was it.

Kelly

That's exactly where she lives

Julie R.

So why did this crook who stole $260,000.00 from tenants for their water bills only get charged with one count of misdemeanor theft when that black lady, Krista Harris, was charged with multiple counts of felony theft of $40,000.00 from her elderly aunt, even after the aunt's doctor, Susan Gallagher, testified that the Power of Attorney Harris used was prepared years back when the aunt was very much competent.

This crook Yost only gets 90 days and the Harris lady got 5 years with no early release.

Can we say "selective prosecution" here or what?

Julie R.

@bbjjad: Instead of applauding Binette for following the law (will wonders never cease) when it comes to the sentence for misdemeanor theft, why not ask instead why Binette allowed the crook to change the original 2 counts of felony theft against him to a guilty plea of one count of misdemeanor theft, especially after Holman lied and said the tenants were good with it.

SamAdams

No, the court did NOT do everything that was in its power. Yes, based on the guilty plea, it did sentence Yost to the maximum (even if it did suspend half of it). But you're forgetting that the court doesn't HAVE to accept a plea bargain at all.

bnjjad

Irregardless he still was not being charged with stealing $260K. Everyone is stuck on that, according to the investigation they cannot PROVE that the tenants paid him that much. They also cannot criminally charge him for the non-payment of the $260K, that is a civil matter between him and the city.

IF you want to be mad, be mad that the investigators found nothing, including NONE of this "responsible business man's" records.

Babo

Judge Binette could have vacated the plea deal based on the fact that Prosecutor Holman (hand picked by Baxter to under prosecute his friend) LIED to the Court to induce acceptance of the plea deal to the reduced Misdemeanor count. Judge Binette could have removed Holman for those actions, reinstated the indictment and appointed a new prosecutor from the AG's office to bring a superseding indictment with more counts based on an investigation by forensic accountants.

In fact Judge Binette knows Holman as he worked with him in the past on other cases and he didn't hold him accountable for the ethcial violations in the case. No, Judge Binette did not do everything in his power to assure justice or integity in the court room.

Little Giant

Glad to see Binette do the right thing. Dean Holman on the other hand looked like a complete d-bag. He asked the court for no jail time and said this was a civil matter? Binette had to point out that Yost had defied previous orders and chose not to apply the money that he got to the bills that he owed. Binette also seemed irked that Yost did not keep any records of payment or non payment.

bnjjad

I particularly liked when Holman stepped up at the end and tried to make it seem like the only reason he submitted the extra cases for review were for his sake if the defense took another route, and didn't want them to be part of the sentencing. Then he took it out on Brady's comments with Brady & Murray sitting right there (Shouldn't he have at least remembered their name instead of the "old grey haired man"?).

So much for a "business man". If he was such a respected business man he would have every record possible, not just to cover himself but to go after the people that "defy" him.

I will say Holman was much easier to listen to when he was talking. The Defense attny was horrible trying to listen to.

DickTracey

I first off, want to thank the Sandusky Register for the live feed! That was great to be able to watch!

Watching them cuff Yost and haul him off to jail was priceless! It would also give some closure to the folks that lost their homes.

Second, I have to say that given the hand that Binette was left with, he did a fine job. I love that Yost HAS to get a full time job! (see ya at Walmart, when you hand me my cart Joe!) I also love that after working forty hours he has to go volunteer at the homeless shelter, another nice touch by Binette. He put the hammer down where he could, and he pointed out all the other lawsuits that Yost has been and will be involved in.

Welcome to the real world Joe! No more fast boats to the islands! All your buddy's are retiring and your just starting!

bnjjad

Completely agree. Binette did as much as he could with the hand that was dealt to him. The requirement that he has to get a job and apply for 14 positions per WEEK until he has gainful employment is awesome and I couldn't stop laughing after I heard it..

Little Giant

Best part was when the prosecutor asked for leniency and said that jail time would be tough on a 68 year old Yost. Binette pointed out that some of the people who lost their homes in the trailer park were also elderly.

Babo

Again, Judge Binette could have vacated the plea agreement based on the fact that Holman lied to the court concerning the approval of the plea deal by the city and tenants. He could have removed Holman and appointed a new prosecutor not controlled by his former boss Baxter who would have actually looked out for the interests of the people rather than Baxter and Co's friends.

Julie R.

90 days in jail for pocketing $260,000.00 that tenants gave him for their water bills and only have to pay back $2,717.17?

Yeah right, DickTracey. Let's applaud Roger Binette and while we're at it, let's applaud your little buddy Baxter and his sidekick Dean Holman, too.

DickTracey

I'm not ashamed of my bromance with Kevin, and I'm not embarrassed to say I have a huge amount of respect for him.

#prosecutoroftheyear #BFF #numberonefan

Julie R.

I'm sure Satan does, too!

meg a

It doesn't matter if the residents could only show $2,717, he owes $260,000

Seen it All

BRAVO Judge for taking all litigating circumstances into account (senior citizens, disabled, and low income) of those tenants who were removed from their home due to the fact that this man stole their money. I know he OWES a lot more to THEM and the city, and I hope those court cases are brought forth. I did find it ODD, that there were two defense tables in the court room, and nobody representing the state! I also like how the smug look left the defendant's face once it was obvious by the judge's tone that this wasn't just going to be a "formal proceeding", but indeed, some penalties would have to be paid! Loved the judge's choices in community service, that I believe a victim had recommended! A much better outcome than I think most of the citizens of Erie County expected in this case!

Julie R.

This crook even stole from senior citizens?

Gee, I thought theft of anything over the amount of $150.00 from an elderly person was an automatic felony?

SamAdams

I really, really, really hate mandatory sentencing "guidelines!" I know they were put into place to make sure that the most lenient (or crooked) judges had to sentence the bad guys to pay at least a LITTLE penalty, but those guidelines also hamstring good judges saddled with especially egregious cases. You know, like this one?

If there were no maximums, Judge Binette could not only have taken into consideration the dollar figures and the damages done to people's lives, but could have more fully ACTED on them!

While the Judge doesn't HAVE to accept a plea bargain, they're not usually refused. There's probably something in there about saving the taxpayers money, letting the victims move on, etc. and so on. In a case like this, though, where the victims still remain pretty unhappy with everything, I still think it's unfortunate the Judge didn't take it the rest of the way and just say NO.

worddrow811

who's going to be paying his rent and utilities while he's in jail? maybe he'll lose his home due to non-payment. Oh the irony!

queenjhb

Thank you Judge Binette, I feel he deserves more jail time, but I'm sure you will see him again in court. You have a tough job, thanks again.

Julie R.

You people that are all on here applauding and thanking Binette for giving Baxter's slumlord buddy a joke 90 days for stealing $260 thousand on an even bigger joke misdemeanor charge (equivalent to stealing a pack of gum) probably all work at the cult courthouse.

bnjjad

You are barking up the wrong tree. Binette did not (and cannot) issue the charges and did not perform the investigation. Binnete did what he could, and in fact disregarded the recommendations of BOTH defense and plaintiff and went for the maximum sentence he could hand down. He not only took this case in mind, but also all of the other cases that are in progress or in the past that he has been involved in and his actions and handed down what he thought was right. He also made comments to Yost himself regarding his actions and pointed out how he was neither sincere in his apology (blaming others) but also lying about his plans and actions.

If you could do better, why not spend some of your time that you complain about the court system and actually go to school to be a laywer/judge. Make a difference.

But then you wouldn't be able to complain about the "cult courthouse" because you would be a part of the cult and it is your only claim to fame - "Hi, I am Julie R., better known as the outspoken commenter on the Sandusky Register that attacks every single person in public service."

I would have liked to seen more done, but I am not blaming Binette for something that he had no power over investigating. The Prosecutor and the Police should have brought in a forensic accountant to help, but they didn't.

Julie R.

Duh, I don't attack every single person in public service. Only ones I attack are:

Baxter and a former auditor that went running to hide when I found out after my mother's death that seven months before her death attorneys fraudulently transferred her half to property on a forged POA hidden in the Lorain County Recorder's office ......... the probate court judge that gave attorneys & two financial institutions two years after her death to get everything left from criminally changed contracts out of her name before filing a forged Will ........ and the common pleas court of Binette, knowing property couldn't be sold through normal channels unless the criminal transfer of my mother's half was acknowledged and the property put back into her estate, got around it by selling the property at a scam sheriff sale.

Does that constitute every single person in public service? To answer my own question ---- no, but it sure does constitute enough!

queenjhb

His assets are probably in his wife's name, Yes, he really should be made to tell the court how he really can afford to live day to day. He is disgusting .

Julie R.

Once again, you can bet he was given plenty of time to hide the "assets" that he stole before the joke city of Sandusky suddenly decided to act on an unpaid $260 thousand dollar water bill. In other words, he walked out of this with his pockets full. That criminal racket of hiding theft has also been going on for a long time in Erie County, especially in that corrupt probate court.