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JFS director fights to stop garnishment



Published: Sat, June 1, 2013 @ 12:06 a.m.

$730 taken out every 2 weeks to pay off Bush’s $70,758 debt

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Robert E. Bush Jr., Mahoning County’s Job and Family Services director, has gone to court to try to stop the garnishment of his $111,738-a-year salary to pay a 22-year-old rent debt from a former retail business he operated.

On Friday, the county’s payroll department began deducting $730 every two weeks from his salary to pay that debt.

County Payroll Director Thomas Lyden said he will continue making that deduction until the $70,758 debt is paid off or until a judge releases the garnishment order imposed Dec. 17 by Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

In a previous Vindicator story, Bush said, “It was a debt I should have addressed over the years, and I didn’t follow through. Now, all those chickens are coming home to roost.”

Bush’s lawyers, Ronald D. Yarwood and Edward A. Czopur, on Friday filed a complaint for declaratory judgment to block the Cafaro Co. from collecting the debt, which stems from unpaid rent, utilities and common-area maintenance charges for a beauty products supply business Bush operated between 1987 and 1991 at the Cafaro Co.’s McGuffey Mall.

When the Cafaro Co. initially sued to collect the debt, Judge Charles J. Bannon of common pleas court, who is now retired, issued a $14,396 default judgment against Bush in 1991; but the debt mushroomed to $70,758 through more than two decades of compounding interest.

The garnishment began after the mall company May 16 asked that the county be found in contempt of court for neglecting Judge Sweeney’s order for five months.

In Bush’s complaint, which is assigned to Judge James C. Evans, his lawyers seek a court order voiding the 2003 revival of the judgment.

“Plaintiff’s due process rights were violated in not being afforded notice and an opportunity to be heard relative to revival,” Yarwood and Czopur argued in their complaint.

The judgment went dormant Feb. 1, 2001, Bush’s lawyers said, adding that state law requires that a dormant judgment be revived within 10 years after it becomes dormant. More than 10 years have passed since Feb. 1, 2001, they noted.

A status conference in the garnishment case is set for 10:30 a.m. June 26 before Magistrate Eugene Fehr of common pleas court.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out in court,” said Joe Bell, the Cafaro Co.’s director of corporate communications. “It’s just a shame that the original debt wasn’t paid when it should have been.”


Comments

1Ianacek(909 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

The State Auditor should enquire into this to see whether there was ever any connection between the non prsuit of the loan & Mr Bush's occupation of public office .

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2BigJim2234(57 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Anyone else this is a non issue and they have to pay the $ back,
It really is that simple, Just because him and Gains are friends should not effect the fact he owes $

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32fer1(22 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Here you have a "leader of the community", Director of Mahoning County’s Job and Family Services, still trying to beat someone out of their due payment. I'm sure with his political connections, he'll manage to get a raise, to cover the monthly garnishment. Who picks these people?

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4Knightcap(699 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

I swear we have a better all-star lineup of corrupt politicians and crooks than Cuyahoga County. If it wasn't for Jimmy Dimora batting cleanup over there we would be #1. Hey, anyone know who's on deck?

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5busyman(239 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

I am waiting for the Black community to say the the man is just trying to keep them down. A debt is a debt. Pay it back. The will probably find out he was in on the MYCAP scam and somebody was supposed to hide that one.

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6Jerry(498 comments)posted 1 year, 3 months ago

Let me try to understand:

I have worked my entire adult life to pay my bills, meet my obligations, and provide for my children.

Large portions of the money I work to earn (money that pays for food and education for my children) is taken from me in taxes to support government activities.

One government agency, JFS, gives my money to other people who cannot pay their bills or meet their obligations. Also, in addition to giving my money to other people, my money is used to pay the man who runs JFS, Robert Bush.

Robert Bush (who is responsible for giving money taken from me to other people who cannot pay their bills and meet their obligations) is himself incapable of paying his bills and meeting his obligations; even though his salary, paid with money taken from me, is bigger than mine.

Ultimately, Robert Bush will retire from being inept at JFS, and start sucking down a bloated government pension (also paid for by money taken from me); while I continue to work to pay for him and everyone else.

Does anyone see an issue that might be just a bit off-putting to me here?

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