July 9, 2002 at 4:40 PM EST - Updated July 3 at 4:16 PM
CLEVELAND (AP) - Paul V. Voinovich, the younger brother of Sen. George Voinovich (pictured, right) whose contracting companies were ordered liquidated by a federal bankruptcy judge, died Monday.
Voinovich, 59, of Bainbridge Township, died at 6:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Clinic after suffering a stroke the previous night at his home, a hospital spokesman said.
Sen. Voinovich, R-Ohio, was returning from Berlin on Monday night following a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and was unavailable for comment.
Paul Voinovich's V Group was made up of an elaborate network of sub-companies that were named but never charged in a number of corruption investigations. Sen. Voinovich is not affiliated with the companies.
In Summit County, the V Group was getting county money for buildings and sewer work at the same time its sub-companies were paying two public officials. The company argued that it was not violating ethics or other state laws because the sub-company and the V Group were not the same.
Lawyer Roger Synenberg said Paul Voinovich weathered years of controversy with a smile. He described him as a devoted family man, philanthropist and reliable friend.
"Loyalty was his greatest asset," said Synenberg, who represented Voinovich. "It was always, 'What can I do for you?'"
The V Group filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors two years ago after being ordered to pay a $13.3 million judgment to Jefferson County related to a 140-bed jail that the company designed and helped build.
Construction was completed almost 19 months late and cost about $10 million more than expected. The V Group blamed county commissioners for most of the delays and increased costs.
His V Companies and VS Architects companies were ordered to be sold in March to pay creditors.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Pat Morgenstern-Clarren said Voinovich's inability to explain payments and debts between the V Group's various units put creditors at risk and raised the possibility of self-dealing.
Voinovich had said he was "dismayed and extremely disappointed" by the ruling.
He had followed his father, taking over the family's Cleveland architectural business, once known as the Voinovich Companies. The company was a leader in the design and construction of prisons and jails.
In a 1998 deposition, when asked to "recall the first time you were involved in the construction of a corrections facility," he replied, "About 1947 when I was about 5 years old."
He said he remembered accompanying his father on job after job, and he talked fondly of learning the family business from "one of the best."
Voinovich, who graduated from Ohio University, is survived by his wife of 38 years, Christine; daughters, Deborah Donley and Cynthia Hunter; sons, Paul and Steven; and nine grandchildren.
Services were pending at DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott Funeral Home in South Euclid.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)