Appeals court rules for YSU in two cases

Appeals court rules for YSU in two cases


The 7th District Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of unemployment compensation to a fired Youngstown State University payroll assistant, who was also a labor union president.

In a separate decision, also issued Friday, the appeals court upheld the jurisdiction of YSU police officers beyond the university campus.

The appeals court affirmed Judge R. Scott Krichbaum’s decision to uphold the state’s denial of unemployment compensation to Ivan Maldonado, a 20-year university employee and former president of the Association of Classified Employees at the university.

“YSU had just cause to terminate appellant, and accordingly, the denial of unemployment benefits is affirmed,” the three-judge panel ruled as it upheld the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge’s decision.

The university said it fired Maldonado in July 2009 for threatening other university employees and using indecent language and for unsatisfactory performance of his duties.

In the other university-related case decided Friday, the appeals court upheld the April 25, 2011, arrest of Jonathan Littlejohn on misdemeanor marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia and falsification charges by YSU Police Officer Wilbert Drayton behind an Ohio Avenue apartment complex near the campus.

Drayton made the arrest after shining his cruiser’s spotlight into a parked car with five occupants, three of whom were smoking in the back seat, smelling burning marijuana and recovering marijuana cigarette butts from the car at about 1 a.m., according to the appeals court decision.

The appeals court ruled that the officer acted properly under a mutual aid agreement between the university and the city, which is authorized by state law and which gives university police city-wide authority.

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