2020 Candidate for Mahoning County Prosecutor: Paul J. Gains

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2020 Candidate for Mahoning County Prosecutor: Paul J. Gains

Name: Paul J. Gains
City of Residence: Youngstown
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Age: 69
Office Desired: Mahoning County Prosecutor
Occupation: Mahoning County Prosecutor
Education: University of Akron School of Law JD 1982; BS Law Enforcement Administration Youngstown State University 1976

Qualifications for Office
Nearly 24 years experience as prosecutor, 15 years as defense attorney, nearly ten years as Youngstown Police Officer; Licensed in all State and Federal Courts in Ohio

What is the top priority for the County Prosecutor? If elected, how would you address this priority?
To continue to initiate and support policies that promote honesty, safety and growth in the community. Central to this is to ensure that all criminal cases are approached objectively, honestly; prosecuting only those cases where there is sufficient evidence. Impartial and fair justice promotes accountability. This includes, continued support for productive and cost effective alternatives to prosecution like Mental Health Court, Drug Court, Honors (Veteran’s) Court, and Theft Diversion. I will also continue to promote community revitalization. In the last seven years, my office, on behalf of the Mahoning County Treasurer, has foreclosed on over 5000 parcels of delinquent properties. Statistics show that improvements made to the physical conditions of distressed neighborhoods have the potential to reduce crime.
One way to accomplish such improvements is to demolish foreclosed and vacant properties as the presence of these structures has the tendency to create negative spillovers—including crime—onto surrounding neighborhoods.

What reforms or policies would ensure racial equity throughout the criminal justice system? What role would (or does) the Prosecutor’s Office play in these reforms or policies?
Restoration of the Voting Rights Act is critical to ensuring racial equality under the law. The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides “[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, ….” Purging voters who have not voted in four years is an abridgement every American’s right to vote and to a fair, honest and representative government.
My role as prosecutor is to uphold the rule of law. The Vindicator Printing Company recognized this attribute when it stated: “In examining Gains’ service in office, we came across this simple but revealing admonition from him to his staff of assistant prosecutors: Follow the law.” But without the confidence in elections and our elected officials, the rule of law, is at risk espeically for those that suffer from racial inequality.

Spanish translation:

The translators involved in this project are volunteers from the community and their translations have been reviewed by individuals who are fully bilingual and have been recommended by professors of Spanish at Youngstown State University.

Los traductores involucrados en este proyecto son voluntarios de la comunidad y sus traducciones han sido revisadas por personas que son completamente bilingües y han sido recomendadas por profesores de español en Youngstown State University.

Edad: 69 años
Ocupación: Fiscal del condado de Mahoning
Educación: Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Akron, JD 1982; Licenciatura en Administración de Cumplimiento de la Ley Youngstown State University 1976

Calificaciones para el cargo: Casi 24 años de experiencia como fiscal, 15 años como abogado defensor, casi diez años como oficial de policía de Youngstown; Licenciado en todos los tribunales estatales y federales de Ohio

¿Cuál es la máxima prioridad para el fiscal del condado? Si es elegido, ¿cómo abordaría esta prioridad?
Continuar promoviendo y apoyando políticas que promuevan la honestidad, la seguridad y el crecimiento en la comunidad. Para ello, es fundamental garantizar que todos los casos penales se aborden con objetividad y honestidad; enjuiciar solo aquellos casos en los que haya pruebas suficientes. La justicia imparcial y justa promueve responsabilidad. Esto incluye, el apoyo continuo para alternativas de productividad y costo en enjuiciamientos en el Tribunal de Salud Mental, el Tribunal de Drogas, el Tribunal de Honores (Veteranos) y la Desviación por Robo. También continuaré promoviendo la revitalización de la comunidad. En los últimos siete años, mi oficina, en nombre del Tesorero del Condado de Mahoning, ha ejecutado hipotecas sobre más de 5000 parcelas de propiedades morosas. Las estadísticas muestran que las mejoras realizadas en las condiciones físicas de los vecindarios en dificultades tienen el potencial de reducir la delincuencia. Una forma de lograr tales mejoras es demoler las propiedades embargadas y desocupadas, ya que la presencia de estas estructuras tiende a crear efectos secundarios negativos, incluido el crimen, en los vecindarios circundantes.

¿Qué reformas o políticas garantizarían la equidad racial en todo el sistema de justicia penal? ¿Qué papel jugaría (o desempeña) la Fiscalía en estas reformas o políticas?
La restauración de la Ley de derecho al voto es fundamental para garantizar la igualdad racial ante la ley. La Decimoquinta Enmienda a la Constitución de los Estados Unidos establece que “el derecho de los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos para votar no será negado ni restringido por los Estados Unidos ni por ningún estado, por motivos de raza, color o condición previa de servidumbre,…. “. Purgar a los votantes que no han votado en cuatro años es una restricción al derecho de voto de todos los estadounidenses y a un gobierno justo, honesto y representativo. Mi función como fiscal es defender el estado de derecho. La imprenta del Vindicator reconoció este atributo cuando declaró: “Al examinar el servicio de Paul Gains en el cargo, nos encontramos con esta simple pero reveladora advertencia de él a su personal de fiscales asistentes: Cumplan la ley”. Pero sin la confianza en las elecciones y en nuestros funcionarios electos, el estado de derecho está en riesgo, especialmente para aquellos que sufren de desigualdad racial.

This information has been collected by the League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown (LWVGY). Candidates provided authorization for it to be published on the WKBN website. Questions were selected by the LWVGY and addressed to the candidates, in partnership with WKBN. Candidates were informed that their responses would be printed exactly as submitted, and that has been done. Candidates are responsible for the accuracy of the information provided. WKBN in publishing this material neither endorses nor rejects the views of any candidate and does not and cannot assume responsibility for the content of any candidate’s reply or motive for making the same. Material contained in this post may not be reproduced without the written consent of WKBN.  The complete LWVGY’s Voter Information Guide, which also includes information on local issues, will be published on the LWVGY’s website www.lwvgy.com by Sept. 28, 2020, and it will be distributed in print version throughout Mahoning County. 

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