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Quattrochi, Mike Pozderac get jail time
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By Carol McIntire
Two former Carrollton school officials will spend 30 consecutive days in the county jail for their part in a scheme to sell air purifiers to the school district and cover up the transaction.
Carroll County Common Pleas Judge Michael V. Repella went against the recommendation of Thomas Anger, special prosecutor for the state auditor’s office, during a June 18 sentencing hearing.
Anger recommended community service for three of the four accused in the case: Superintendent Dr. David Quattrochi, School Board Member Mike Pozderac and his wife, Jackie, an art teacher. All three resigned their positions after charges were filed last November.
Quattrochi and Mike Pozderac will both spend 30 days in the county jail. Both were given 30 days to get their affairs in order before serving the sentence.
Repella reserved an 18-month prison sentence in the Quattrochi case, placed him on a three-year community control program, levied a $1,000 fine and ordered him to make restitution and pay court costs.
Quattrochi, of Steubenville, pleaded guilty plea to one count of Theft in Office, a fourth-degree felony.
Calling Pozderac the “ringleader,” in the case, Repella reserved a 36-month prison sentence and sentenced him to three years of community control sanctions, levied a $1,500 fine, ordered him to make restitution and pay court costs. He is also to complete 50 hours of community service.
Pozderac entered a guilty plea to Theft in Office, a third-degree felony during the June 15 hearing.
Jackie Pozderac, who pled guilty to Having an Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract, a first-degree misdemeanor, was placed one a one-year non-reporting probation and ordered to complete 50 hours of community service. Repella reserved a 180-day jail sentence. She was also ordered to make restitution and pay court costs.
Gus Nickolas, of Canton, did not accept a plea deal offered by the special prosecutor and opted to move forward with a jury trial. Repella set a trial date of Sept. 5.
Attorneys for Quattrochi and the Pozderacs said restitution of $70,450 was divided among the four charged in the case as was $1,599 in audit fees incurred by Carrollton Schools and $2,911 in state auditor fees. Attorneys indicated that, with restitution already made and checks presented that day, all three met their obligations.
When given the opportunity to speak, Jackie Pozderac said she was “embarrassed and sorry it happened.”
Repella said after reading the pre-sentencing investigation (PSI), understood why the prosecution gave her a plea deal.
“Your husband kind of used your good name and drug you into this so I can see why you are getting community service. You say you want to once again be a respected member of the community; I hope you can do that.”
Quattrochi apologized for his actions when given the opportunity to speak. “I’ve learned from this situation,” he said. “I’ve never been in trouble before.”
Repella looked straight at Quattrochi and told him he knew what he did was wrong.
“When you got the check, you knew it wasn’t right,” the judge stated. “You knew it was wrong and it was trying to be concealed.”
“Normally, in cases I’m thinking of victims who have been strangled or shot. This is a case of school officials doing what they know is wrong. In this case, my mind goes, ‘wow’, why did you do this?”
Just prior to handing out the sentence, the judge told Quattrochi, “You should have been one of the best examples students in the school district had. You failed them. The state is happy with the plea negotiations, and I agree with the charges, an F1 (first-degree felony). F3s and F4s. These were not slaps on the wrist. If you get convicted of these charges you go to prison for a long time. My worry is, what will the kids think? The superintendent did this and he got away with it?”
The judge then denied a motion by Quattrochi’s attorney to reduce the jail time to 10 days.
Mike Pozderac used his opportunity to speak to say he was sorry.
“I regret everything. I am sorry for shaming my family,” he said.
Prior to sentencing Mike Pozderac, Repella acknowledged the good he had done in the community.
“What you’ve done for the community can’t be understated,” Repella said. The golf course, the kids who have come through that golf course, the way you have helped groups raise funds”
He referred to the PSI when saying Mike Pozderac seemed to be the ringleader in the scheme.
“You drug your wife and Dr. Quattrochi into it, but you were always at the center of it.
“My concern is what will the kids think? Will they say, you did this but just got a slap on the wrist?”
Prior to pronouncing the sentence, Repella called the state’s plea bargain deal “soft,” but said he understood why it was done.
“To go through a trial would not be good for this community,” he said.
“You know what you did. You made a mistake. I hope the community can forgive you one day.”
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