Appeals court partially rules for former judge in probate case

Local News

A visiting panel remanded part of the case back to the trial court

Former Mahoning County Court Judge Diane Vettori

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A panel of visiting judges in the 7th District Court of Appeals this week partially ruled in favor of an appeal filed by former Mahoning County Court Judge Diane Vettori.

In an opinion issued Thursday, the visiting judges ordered that a ruling ordering Vettori to pay over $12,000 in interest in an estate case that Vettori’s lawyers claimed was a “prejudgment” order be vacated but ruled against her claim that the judge in her probate case was not impartial.

Vettori was sentenced in June 2019 to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing several hundred thousand dollars from the estate of a client she once represented in a probate case.

Vettori served as a judge in area court in Sebring from 2002 until the time the charges were filed against her, when she was suspended. She has since lost her law license.

In a separate case in Mahoning County Probate Court, Vettori was ordered to pay back over $185,000, including the over $12,000 interest.

Vettori’s lawyer John Juhasz asked that the interest be excluded, saying that it was rewarded before a hearing was held by Visiting Probate Judge Thomas Swift.

The visiting judges ruled that they could find no record of any hearing held on the matter of interest and ordered that the issue be remanded back to a trial court for further action.

As to Vettori’s claim that Judge Swift was not impartial, the visiting judges ruled that they could find no evidence to back up that claim and they dismissed it.

The judges who heard the appeal are W. Scott Gwin, Patricia Delaney and Craig R. Baldwin.

Vettori’s husband, former city police officer Ishmael Caraballo, pleaded guilty for his role in the crime and was sentenced to probation.

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