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STANLEY E. PETERSON Former FBI agent, chief of police dies of cancer



Published: Thu, January 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



An FBI investigation of the former agent resulted in no charges.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Stanley E. Peterson, former FBI agent and Youngstown police chief, has died.

Over the years, U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. of Poland, D-17th, accused Peterson of having ties to organized crime while working in law enforcement. Traficant criticized the FBI for not investigating one of their own.

Peterson, of Hubbard, died Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, during surgery for cancer.

His career as a lawman included 20 years as senior FBI agent in the Youngstown office. After retiring from the FBI, he was Youngstown police chief from January 1978 to March 1982 under Mayors Phil Richley and George Vukovich.

Controversy followed him.

Accuser: Traficant, whose federal racketeering trial is set for Feb. 4, first linked Peterson to mobsters in 1982. At that time, Traficant was Mahoning County sheriff and under indictment, accused of taking mob bribes.

Traficant used press conferences back then to attack the FBI and IRS and dropped the names of officials he said had mob ties, such as Peterson. Traficant won acquittal at his trial in 1983.

Peterson's name was again on Traficant's lips this year during the congressman's latest brush with the FBI. Months before the congressman's May 4, 2001, indictment, he began blaming the FBI for the Mahoning Valley's mob stigma and resurrected Peterson's name.

Traficant said that the FBI never investigated Peterson for corruption. The FBI, according to Vindicator files, did investigate Peterson in 1984 and found no evidence to warrant charges.

Over the years, Peterson always denied the allegations, then gave up commenting at all.

Peterson, according to testimony given at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., in 1984, supplied information to organized crime figures when he served as an FBI agent and, when police chief, permitted them to compromise the city police department's vice squad.

meade@vindy.com




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