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YOUNGSTOWN Man faces possible jail time for confrontation with official



Published: Thu, February 21, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- A 44-year-old city man accused of assaulting city schools Superintendent Benjamin McGee has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of aggravated menacing.

Reuben L. Smith of Lakewood Avenue was arrested on the morning of Dec. 17 after a confrontation with McGee in the parking lot outside board of education headquarters at 20 W. Wood St., police reports show.

His plea Wednesday before Judge Robert A. Douglas in Youngstown Municipal Court is not an admission of guilt but states that Smith will offer no defense. It is handled as a guilty plea by the court. Smith faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Felony charge dropped: In return for Smith's plea, Anthony Farris, an assistant city prosecutor, has agreed to drop a felony assault charge. The deal had been reached with defense attorney Steven M. Goldberg. Farris said McGee had also agreed to the deal.

McGee told police that right before the fight, Smith accused him of not returning a telephone call. A police report indicates McGee told Smith he did try to call him, but Smith called the superintendent a liar and pushed him in the chest, knocking him to the pavement. He also punched him in the temple and threatened to shoot him, the police report says.

Judge Douglas ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled an April 8 sentencing.




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