Tantillo Investigation Ends with a Wh...

Tantillo Investigation Ends with a Whimper

Posted in the Ontario County Forum

Richard Tater

Chicago, IL

#1 Dec 2, 2010
On Wednesday (December 1), a Seneca County jury found a former deputy not guilty of petit larceny.

Josh Zona, of Fayette, was cleared of charges he'd stolen tires from an evidence warehouse in 2005.

The verdict was the latest loss for the special prosecutor, Ontario County District Attorney R. Michael Tantillo.

Tantillo had spend approximately four years, and over $100,000 in time charges, attempting to prove widespread corruption in the Seneca County Sheriff's Department.

However, during that time, various courts found Tantillo's case riddled with errors, resulting in dismissals, not guilty verdicts and convictions overturned for prosecutorial error.

Tantillo, appointed to the position by Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender, had originally accused multiple county officials of misconduct. The officials included former Sheriff Leo Connolly, Undersheriff James Larson and a number of deputies.

Connolly was originally charged with several felonies. However, those charges were overturned on appeal when it was revealed that Tantillo had tainted a grand jury by allowing a relative of one of the alleged victims to sit in judgment. Connolly was later acquitted during a retrial.

Similarly, the most recent case, against former deputy Josh Zona, was thrown out for failure to instruct the jury on possible defenses.

Tantillo was able to score a conviction against Larson, claimed by many to be the mastermind of the scandal. However, that conviction came only after Tantillo offered a plea bargain in which Larson served only four months of jail time.

One of the scandal's alleged victims, William Morse, blasted Tantillo in August, claiming that Tantillo's "first grader mistakes" had compromised the case.

Zona's trial was the last of the cases brought by Tantillo. With the dismissal of the charges, Tantillo will likely be returning to his home county.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Ontario County Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Body found at Darien Lake Theme Park (Sep '09) Jul '16 josephbarkley 42
News 3-Year-Old In Jet Ski Accident on Canandaigua L... (Aug '12) Mar '16 Pam 3
News ROC Man Accused of Scamming Mentally-Challenged... (Jul '15) Jul '15 Lollygagger 1
News Storm impact felt across area (Jun '15) Jun '15 Scottie Hecksco 2
News Rochester man arrested in jail (Jan '15) Jan '15 WMLK 2
News Manchester man charged with rape (Nov '14) Nov '14 lolz 1
News Three arrested after farm stand burglarized (Sep '14) Sep '14 kindhearted 1
More from around the web