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Assistant law director at the center of a controversial text-message investigation gets fired

Published: Fri, April 6, 2012 @ 3:54 p.m.

Assistant law director at the center of a controversial text-message investigation gets fired

YOUNGSTOWN — Bret Hartup, an assistant city prosecutor at the center of a controversial text-message investigation, is fired as of 4 p.m. today.

Hartup, who’s worked for the city since Feb. 13, 2006, was the recipient of the controversial text about President Barack Obama.

An internal city investigation into the fallout from a federal discrimination lawsuit, filed against the city by a senior assistant law director, led Mayor Charles Sammarone to fire city Prosecutor Jay Macejko on Thursday.

A key component of the investigation was the controversial text message sent to Hartup’s cellphone on April 7, 2009.

Hartup’s cellphone log, released today by the city, shows he received the text message. But the city refused to disclose who sent the message.

The text was also included in documents related to the discrimination lawsuit. Hartup was asked to provide a log of text messages he sent and received from Macejko.

Macejko has repeatedly said he didn’t send the offensive message.

For the complete story, read Saturday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com


1jeepers(127 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

There better be a lot of info missing in the firing of Hartup. All it says here is he RECEIVED an e-mail derogatory to our president. SO WHAT? It was a JOKE-no-one else should have seen it. If this is all that occurred, watch out-the thought police are coming.

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2bmanresident(597 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a travesty for the Valley. Majecko kept the city safe from the crime and detriment that is the citizens of Youngstown. Now the city is a little less safe with these guys out of office.

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3Nom_De_Plume(54 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a true shame. I don't know Macejko or Hartup. But, Macejko has always come across as being in charge of the issues and tough on crime. He should be the county prosecutor. His firing and the firing of this assistant reeks of political payback.

The "good" mayor made a fool of himself yesterday by storming out of the press conference he called! Given that behavior, I have to believe that his decisions are mostly knee-jerk reactions. He is the one who looks the worst in this situation!

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4Billweaver480(52 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Clean house, remove the racist bigots! About time Macejko and his cronies get the boot. He wasn't tough, he was just all about making himself look good. He cost the city a bundle and it will be more after Byrds case gets settled.
The mayor did not want to fire him, but the OVERWHELMING evidence against Macejko meant he had to go!


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5LRG5150(17 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Caving into pressure from public perception and Gains' supporters is hardly having a "spine to do whats right". Its pure politics.

Its a case of the coverup being much worse than the crime.

I also find it funny that if Jay didn't run against Paul, none of this happens.

Cue Billweaver trying to get more hits to his site.

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6Nom_De_Plume(54 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Totally agree, LRG.

It seems Sammarone caved in to political pressure and Gains' hands are all over it.

The records BillWeaver keeps referring to only show part of the picture. I'd guess there's much more to this story but it really doesn't matter. This stuff is history.

Gains has a history of retaliating against those who oppose him politically. Wish he went after murderers as aggressively. But, his buds at this paper seem to be willing to give him a pass on that...or outright help him.

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7ytownisajoke(31 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

People keep referring to a relationship with Cafaro. Where is the proof? You Gains supporters love to throw stuff out to see what sticks. Dirty politics. It is a shame that Gains doesn't work as hard in the court room as he does trying to make his non-supporters look bad.

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8Billweaver480(52 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Redeye, I don't see where Gains has come into the picture, in fact he did not even comment on the firing.... Now as for BS.. the documents on my site are from the discrimination lawsuit- legal records open to the public.

No one thing that I suspect is if Hartup received the text then one can only surmise that Jay sent it. In the private sector jobs. this would be grounds for dismissal.

Cafaro's name show up in texts also.

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9Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

So someone else gets fired because of a Obama joke. Wow, what in the he@# is this world coming to. So tired of this PC it's really getting sickening. Amazing...

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10bmanresident(597 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

It makes you wonder if a black official, Jay Williams, Jimmy Hughes, et al send jokes to each other about white people, would there be as much outrage and calls for firing? I'm going to take a wild guess and say no!

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11ytownisajoke(31 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Interesting that the city won't say who sent Hartup the text message. Is it because it wasn't from Macejko? The guy loses his job and a County election over something he never did.

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