Jury indicts ex-director of MYCAP

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A Mahoning County grand jury indicted the former director of the Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership who was fired after an investigation into his dealings within the agency.

The grand jury handed up a four-count felony indictment Thursday against Richard Roller, 48, of Colonial Drive, Liberty. Roller served as MYCAP director until he was fired in 2010 amid scandal.

The Youngstown-based MYCAP, located on Fifth Avenue, administers 11 programs to help the county’s poor and disadvantaged.

Charges listed in the indictment are theft in office, grand theft, unlawful interest in a public contract and soliciting or receiving improper compensation. Roller is likely to be arraigned in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in two weeks.

Roller was placed on unpaid administrative leave in April 2010 and fired in May 2010 in the wake of the Ohio Department of Development’s investigation into whether the nonprofit organization misappropriated funds and resources while he led it.

MYCAP administers programs ranging from the Home Weatherization Assistance Program to the Community Services Block Grant.

In January 2010, ODOD issued a preliminary report on its review of MYCAP financial records for possible misuse of funds, nepotism, conflict of interest and a number of other issues, including weatherization work done at Roller’s home.

The indictment alleges Roller did accept illegal compensation to perform duties of his public office from June 2009 through July 2009 while employed as director. That is the only misdemeanor charge included in the four-count indictment.

The three felony counts lodged against Roller allege he used his position to secure authorization of a public contract in which he or members of his family had a special interest; he deceptively deprived the state of property or services greater than $7,500; and he used his office to commit theft.

Judge Maureen A. Sweeney issued a judgment entry in July allowing for appointment of special prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s office to assist the county prosecutor’s office in the case.

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