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Former YSU union treasurer pleads guilty

Published: Wed, February 22, 2012 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Denise Dick



The former treasurer of a Youngstown State University union has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge.

Carol Hovanes, 59, of New Middletown pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Jack Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a bill of information. Her sentencing date is March 29.

The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s office will recommend probation, said Atty. Robert Bush, who formerly handled the case for that office.

Hovanes formerly served as treasurer of the Association of Classified Employees at YSU and last May, that union sued her, citing misappropriated funds.

Bush said that Hovanes cooperated with the investigation. ACE, however, did not, he said.

“When we got involved, the union wouldn’t cooperate with us in providing documentation or witnesses,” Bush said. “They said it would be handled at the state [Ohio Education Association] level. When we contacted the state office, they wouldn’t cooperate with us with documentation or witnesses. They hired a firm to do an audit. That firm wouldn’t cooperate with us.”

He said the union didn’t want the investigation to come to light.

Neither Atty. Ira Mirkin, who represents ACE, nor Atty. David Mascio, who represents Hovanes, could be reached Tuesday.

Hovanes said she took about $13,000 from the union and has made about $9,900 in restitution, Bush said.

Hovanes served as ACE treasurer from September 2002 through December 2007 and had access to the union’s funds and bank accounts, according to the civil suit.

In January 2008, a new treasurer replaced Hovanes and “discovered information that called into question defendant’s handling of [ACE’s] funds and bank accounts during her term as treasurer,” the lawsuit says.

The audit sought by the union found that from December 2003 and continuing through December 2007, Hovanes made 65 “unauthorized disbursements from the association’s checking account totaling $13,266.69,” the lawsuit says. Another 22 transactions “were identified as possible misappropriations totaling $4,017.02,” it said.

Bush said the union provided no documentation of those amounts.


1crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The then, union president, Mr. Brian Brennan and vice president,, are the invididuals who did NOT cooperate as stated by Mr. Bush. Could it be because they, too, were involved? It makes an individual wonder, when they were so quick to throw former union officials under the bus. It is long overdue that this person be charged.

Another question, WHY does this come out now when it happend years ago? There is something with the city that it should come out now? This person should lose their job AND pension. Misappropriated $17,000 and is only pleading guilty to a theft of $1,000? Why, so she can remain employed and continue to collect a pension? WHO CUT A DEAL HERE? and HOW do some people get a slap on the hand and others are disgraced and lose EVERYTHIHG?

Something stinks here, cut a deal and PLEAD to only taking $1,000 so that the person is not CHARGED with a FELONY and convicted of the same?

Dead fish somewhere here......

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2dancinmoses(66 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I want to know WHY you admit to stealing $13,000 and you only PLEAD to taking $1,000? SOMEONE CUT A DEAL HERE.

Who is benefiting from this deal that was cut? What a shame, this is a misdemeanor, this person gets to keep their job AND continue to earn a pension?

WHO IS THIS FAIR TO? Certainly not the union, is it benefitting the university? or does Atty. Bush have something he is going to benefit from or help some corrupt politician now?

THIS IS NOT FAIR! This person admitted to theft of $13K and pleaded to $1K ? How is this justice? and will ONLY get probation? What about the rest of the missing funds? Why doesn't she have to pay them back?

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3Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The paper neglected to make a few things clear, so someone help me out here. Was this woman employed by the university at all? Or just by this union? And if she was just employed by this union and they decided to take care of it on the qt, why did the city law get involved?

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4boxerlover(124 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Rooster. Am wondering why the previous comments are blasting the deal with Bush when it's the union that did not provide documents, statements, etc., that said Hovanes misappropriated over $13,000. She pled to $1000 because that's all they can do...something better than nothing mentality. Plus she has made partial restitution to the union, which I'm sure the union is grateful for.

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5crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

The president at the time worked with the accused at the library. Don't think they wanted anything bad to happen on their time so it was set aside and they tried to IGNORE it, hoping it would go away. Sweep it under the rug till we are outta here.

Doesn't matter if restitutuion was made, it is STILL a CRIME, and should be PUNISHABLE by law. People have been fired from there for less than that. We are talking $17K of which only $14K is accountable. The independent audit was brought in because there was questionable ethics at play by the Youngstown political bosses

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6dancinmoses(66 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

There are too many false statements in this article. Atty. Bush does NOT have his facts straight. Guess the corrupt political Youngstown machine is at work, alive and doing well for the crooks, no care about justice and doing the right thing, follow the law?
Make up the law as it suits your agenda, that's how politics work in this town.

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7jethead11(139 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Glad to be union free.

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8Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

So now do I have this part right - this woman thief kept the books for the union and she also worked in the library up at YSU?

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9crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

this person is gainfully employed at the library. Still has a job after admitting to taking 13k.

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10foghorn(9 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a deal was cut. That's what a plea bargain is. The article is confusing. Is her union still suing her in civil court?

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11YSUretired(25 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

To TheDrone, even if she had "something on somebody" how could anyone believe her after she has admitted to stealing $13,000?

I believe I saw an announcement from the former union president that he had complied with subpoenas for all records requested by the court. Maybe I am wrong, but that was about 2 years ago. Are they just now getting around to an investigation? I realize the legal system is slow sometimes but that seems a little ridiculous.

For me, I don't believe a word that Bush has stated here. Something is not adding up.

Since the union put out an annoucement almost 2 years ago to its members that they were aggressively pursuing this matter and they did file a civil lawsuit which appears to be active on the Mahoning Court docket, it appears that Bush's statements are not true. What's in it for Bush? Why would he be making what appears to be false statements? Does he have a motive? And why were the charges filed now since this happened so long ago? And did the union ask for a criminal investigation? I was told they had asked for a criminal investigation and it was dismissed. Obviously someone is not being truthful and it doesn't appear that it is the union making false statements.

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12Rooster(78 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't this newspaper think we might be mostly interested in what kind of job this woman thief has up at the University and if her hand is in any kind of till there? So she stole from the union and theyre ok with it or not, we'll never know, but what does this paper think it's audience is anyway? Think we're worried about how the union comes out? I'd be a little more worried about what's going on up there at the University with these types controlling this story and the jobs they're doing up there with the University itself. And where does this prosecutor contender come in on this story? Seems I read some connection there a while back.

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13crlbk1052(99 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

This woman works in the collections area of the university, still working. How many stories do you see that people steal monies and go to jail? This one admitted to taking over $13,000 and will get probation? No one mentions that she claimed she had a 'loan' from the union (don't think unions are in the business of lending) in her bankruptcy filing. Jay Macejko's wife was her attorney in the bankruptcy case. Never a question arises about that incident. Could that be why she is getting such a light sentence, a slap on the hand, because of the connection between Jay and his wife? Her employer, YSU, should be thinking about what's going on there. She also has her name attached to raising money for the Relay for Life that goes on every year to raise money for cancer.

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