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$4+ million settlement for two Portage County men wrongfully imprisoned for murder

By MARC KOVAC Capital Bureau Chief Published: April 12, 2017 11:52 AM

COLUMBUS — The state Controlling Board OK’d more than $4 million Monday as part of a settlement with two Portage County men wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 17 years in the murder of a Randolph woman.

Robert Gondor and Randy Resh will each receive about $1.45 million of the total, with another $1 million-plus going to their legal counsel, under a settlement reached last month.

The two were convicted in the 1988 murder of Connie Nardi. Gondor, working as a carpenter at the time, and Resh, a roofing contractor, denied involvement. Another man pleaded guilty and was convicted of the crime but alleged the two were involved, according to documents.

Courts later cleared Resh and Gondor of the charges, and they were released from prison a decade ago, Gondor after serving 5,936 days, Resh 6,012 days, according to documents.

State law provides more than $50,000 per year in restitution to those who have proven wrongful imprisonment.

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Monday’s Controlling Board agenda item came more than a year after the same panel approved an initial payment of $1.7 million for the men and their attorneys.

In other business, lawmakers released nearly $160,000 for repairs at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor.
The funds are going toward the total cost of a new 100-ton chiller, to replace an existing cooling tower and to replace soffit in the museum’s rotunda, according to documents. Western Reserve Mechanical of Niles and LM Construction of St. Clairsville is handling the work.

Also Monday, the Controlling Board OK’d nearly $79,000 for shower renovations at the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg. The funds will be used for design services for the replacement of nearly five dozen showers at the facility.
K2M Design Inc. of Cleveland is handling the work.
Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media and The Vindicator. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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