Friday, February 15, 2013



Legal counsel (Craig T. Conley) for Tom Marcelli tells the SCPR that he has filed a dismissal (Friday, February 15th) of Marcelli's declaratory judgment action which was  seeking judicial confirmation that that Ohio's sentencing statute which requires fines be paid to the county's general fund is constitutional.

The general fund is administered by Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar.

Originally, Judge Frank Forchione had as part of his sentencing of Scott D. Studer ordered him to pay $5,000 for the benefit of the Sandy Hook Elementary School (Newtown, CT) shooting victims.

Here is a LINK to a prior SCPR blog which provides background and more detail on the Studer matter.

Conley says that while he thinks that Judge Forchione should have constituted the corrective entry differently, his client is not going to contest the niceties and particularities of the correction.

Judge Forchione held a video conference hearing with Studer (who is at the Madison Correctional Institution located in London, Ohio serving a 15 year sentence) on Thursday.

Conley says that he believes the video conference was unnecessary and could have been handled by a nunc pro tunc order.  He had provided Stark County assistant prosecutor Ross Rhodes with such an order which would have been acceptable to Mr. Marcelli.

The original order with respect to the fine read:

The replacement order with respect to the fine reads:

The SCPR compliments Conley for seizing the initiative to have the money paid into the Stark County treasury general fund.

Judge Forchione reclaimed the $5,000 from the Sandy Hook School Support Fund so that it can be deposited to the credit of the Stark County general fund as required by Ohio's rule of law, to wit:  Ohio Revised Code Section 2949.11

Conley has said all along that he is not anti-charity but that the law is the law and Ohio's law mandates that fines go to the county's general fund.

He has also said that he is not pleased that the $5,000 actually paid to the Sandy Hook Support Fund was reclaimed.

Conley reminded the SCPR that his representation of Mr. Marcelli was done pro bono (for the public good) meaning at no cost for his client and by extension for the Stark County public.

Here is Conley's order of dismissal:

And here is his press release:

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