The Mahoning County prosecutor hopes the councilman voluntarily resigns.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- City Councilman Clarence Boles is a convicted felon who "tortured or cruelly abused" a 1-year-old girl, and the conviction means that, by law, he must leave office, The Vindicator has learned.
The newspaper reviewed Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court records and found that in January 1982, Boles and a woman named Barbara Foster were indicted on charges of felonious assault and endangering children. At the time, Boles lived in Cleveland.
The indictment states that Boles and Foster "tortured or cruelly abused Tikisha Foster," a 1-year-old girl, and that the conduct resulted in serious physical harm.
In June 1982, Boles pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault and endangering children, both felonies. In August 1982, he was sentenced to two to five years in prison on each count.
Foster also was convicted. Her sentence was not immediately available.
Prison release, probation
Boles was released from the Chillicothe Correctional Facility in October 1982 after the judge granted a motion for shock probation, records show. The judge placed Boles on four years' probation with these conditions: "Defendant is to have no contact whatsoever with Barbara Foster, her family or children" and maintain full-time employment.
His probation was terminated in June 1984 on a recommendation of the probation department.
Boles refused to comment Tuesday when told the newspaper had court records showing that he is a convicted felon and therefore prohibited from holding public office. He said he wanted to confer with his attorney.
Boles, who turns 55 this month, was elected in November 2003 to his first term as 6th Ward councilman and took office eight months ago. Before that, he served two years on the Youngstown Board of Education.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains, when told of the newspaper's findings, said he would request certified copies of the court documents to verify Boles' felony convictions and then prepare a lawsuit.
"I will request that he resign from office or we'll file the lawsuit," Gains said. "Hopefully, he'll just do the right thing and resign. He should have never run for office."
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court records also show that, in January 1973, a grand jury indicted Boles on a charge of defrauding a garage keeper. The case involved a rental car.
Boles was convicted. In January 1974, he was given a 90-day suspended sentence, fined $200 and placed on one year's probation.
He also was ordered to pay restitution, but the amount was not noted on documents The Vindicator obtained.
"If you have two convictions you can't get your record expunged," Gains said. "Had he not had the defrauding conviction, he could have had the other [case] sealed."
Can't retain post
Since Boles' felony record was not sealed and expunged, as has been the case for other Mahoning County officeholders with previous convictions, he cannot retain his position on city council, Gains said. In recent years, convicted felons were elected in Struthers, Lowellville and Canfield.
Mike Sciortino, Mahoning County Board of Elections director, said candidates are not asked if they are convicted felons. "Maybe there should be a mechanism in place," he said when told of Boles' record.
Youngstown Municipal Court records show that on Jan. 6, 1987, Boles was driving a 1986 Lincoln Town Car and involved in a two-car crash. He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, failure to yield right of way, receiving stolen property (the Lincoln) and defrauding a livery or hostelry (Hertz).
Boles would not cooperate with a field sobriety test and refused to have his blood alcohol concentration tested by remaining silent, reports show.
The officer's investigation revealed that Boles had rented the Lincoln from Hertz, which then reported the car stolen Nov. 6, 1986. Cleveland police notified Youngstown police that Hertz would press charges.
It's not clear if the charges associated with the Lincoln were pursued in Cleveland. There's no record of their being pursued in Youngstown.
Boles was convicted in Youngstown of the two traffic charges -- DUI and failure to yield right of way. Municipal Judge Lloyd Haynes sentenced him to 30 days in jail and suspended 27, ordering him to attend a three-day DUI school.