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MAHONING COUNTY Commissioners OK paying settlement



Published: Fri, April 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The suit was settled in February.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning County commissioners closed the book Thursday on a 1997 lawsuit against former sheriff Phil Chance.

Commissioners approved payment of $37,500 to settle the suit, filed against Chance and Adolescent Counseling and Treatment 1 by Richard J. Billak, chief executive officer of Community Corrections Association

The parties settled out of court in February for $75,000, with Chance to pay half and ACT 1 to pay half.

The $37,500 payment approved Thursday represents Chance's half of the settlement, said county Administrator Gary Kubic.

CCA and Billak sued Chance in 1997, contending that while Chance was sheriff he wrongly told county commissioners they should not contract with Billak to provide services to county jail inmates because he was going to be indicted on criminal charges.

No charges filed: No charges were ever filed against Billak.

Because Chance was sheriff when he made the comments, the county had to defend him and pay his share of the settlement, Kubic said.

ACT 1, based in Canfield, offers jail inmate services similar to those offered by CCA. Chance worked there before becoming sheriff.

The Canfield company sued CCA and the county in 1997, trying to block CCA from being allowed to provide inmate services. Billak filed a countersuit against ACT 1 and Chance, accusing them of slander and interfering with business practices.

Commissioners also approved payment of $26,239 as the county's share of a deputy dog warden who was hired last year to patrol in Youngstown. The city pays the other half of the salary, said dog warden Carol Markovich.

An additional deputy dog warden was hired last year as a result of a rash of dog attacks on city residents. Markovich said it proved successful and she's glad commissioners and city council agreed to continue the arrangement another year.

She said the deputy works a flexible schedule, meaning he patrols nights and weekends as well as during daylight hours.

bjackson@vindy.com




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