Former YSU union treasurer pleads guilty
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.