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Boardman supervisor of transportation ticketed for OVI

Published: Thu, June 6, 2013 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Josh Stipanovich



The Boardman school district’s supervisor of transportation was ticketed by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for OVI and failure to signal.

Hugh Braham, 66, of College Lane, Poland, was pulled over on South Avenue near Tiffany Boulevard just before midnight May 17. According to the ticket, Braham refused a breath test, so his blood-alcohol content is not known.

He appeared in Mahoning County Area Court on May 21, pleaded not guilty to the OVI and was given a $1,500 recognizance bond by Judge Joseph M. Houser, according to court records. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 9.

Braham has been without his license since the incident, he said, but will be able to petition the court to get it back June 15.

School Superintendent Frank Lazzeri said he and the school board are aware of the episode and that disciplinary action hasn’t been taken because the case is ongoing.

“He’s disappointed us, so we’ll deal with this internally,” Lazzeri said. “Should the guy be thrown in jail or fired for this? I don’t think so. You have to put everything in perspective.”

Braham said he told Lazzeri about the OVI that following Monday. Lazzeri told the school board later that week.

This is not the first police episode for Braham.

He was charged with public indecency and disorderly conduct while intoxicated in February 2001, according to a Poland Village police report in his personnel file. Police observed Braham urinating outside the post office. Braham apologized, also told police he was drinking, and was placed under arrest after police noticed he couldn’t balance himself. He was ordered to appear in Struthers Municipal Court on Feb. 14, 2001.

Don Dailey, former Boardman superintendent, wrote Braham a letter April 27, 2001, that was placed in his personnel file criticizing Braham for bringing “demeaning publicity upon you, your position as supervisor of transportation, and the Boardman Local Schools.”

Braham and Dailey met Feb. 13, 2001, according to the file. Braham told Dailey the incident at the post office occurred because he has a medical condition for which he was being treated. He acknowledged he had a few drinks but “was not intoxicated.”

Documentation of his medical record states Braham was being treated for “bladder-related problems.”

The Poland charges against Braham were expunged, Braham noted, saying he was “exonerated.”

Since then, Braham has received positive feedback from colleagues and the public, according to his personnel file. Every evaluation with Boardman schools, from 1980 to 2013, was above average or met the standard in all areas. He has received letters of praise from several community members and local officials.

“I like to think of myself as a kind man who enjoys life and is thankful for every day,” Braham said. “I love my work. I’m a dedicated employee who comes to work each day with the expectation of helping people and ... improving our pupil- transportation program.”

Braham is the second public official involved in a recent traffic violation.

County Auditor Michael Sciortino paid a $50 fine and $80 court costs for a ticket he received May 26 for failing to drive within marked lines on U.S. Route 224 east of Raccoon Road.

That incident led Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene to launch an investigation into the conduct of the office’s sergeant who cited Sciortino as well as the conduct of a member of the office’s top command staff.


1seinfried(19 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I found it very sad that the superintendent thought he should keep his job. Should be a job breaker, he is transportation supervisor. sad

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2islandgrump(59 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

This gentleman will pay for his indiscretion. However, he was not on the payroll when this occurred. Had he been working, then by all accounts he should be dealt with by his employers. The fact of the matter being, his employers should watch his actions from here on out. But it is not their place to take action in this matter. This is a court matter. You can't be punished twice for the same incident.

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3NoBS(2832 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Other public employees are held to a higher standard, and have been fired for off-duty OVI. Braham should be no different. The way his 2001 incident was hushed up shouldn't even fool a young child - their explanation doesn't explain why he was unable to stand on his own (if he wasn't drunk) and it doesn't explain why, if he had that supposed medical issue, he was outside and away from a bathroom at all. He didn't tell the police at the time of the incident he had a medical condition - he said he'd been drinking.

Also, the glowing work record they're telling us about leaves out countless complaints about his job performance and his "people skills."

But the wagons are circled, and another "good old boy" is being protected.

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4Old_School(39 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Good old boy's is right. Why is Lazzeri sticking up for him? Guaranteed nothing will happen to the good old boy. None of the bus drivers like him. They tolerate him because he threatens them with camera's on their buses and other things. Bus drivers are held to higher standard than their boss? What happens if he kills someone next time? How will the good old boys feel then? Ridiculous! He should be fired.

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5uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I think they should reduce the charges to driving outside of marked lanes just like Sciortino. Definitely he should not be fired. He was not driving a school vehicle and he was not on the clock. Perhaps the school district may want to subject him to drug testing to keep his job.

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6DontBanThisDrone(1046 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

"Braham has been without his license since the incident..."

A Supervisor of Transportation who doesn't have a Driver's License. lol


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7Armelinda(1 comment)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

No one wants a person to lose their means of support HOWEVER, would it be better to let this man go unpunished and possibly the next time have him injure or kill one of your loved ones? This is not his first offense and too many times nothing is done until it is too late. I for one do not want this man supervising the persons who will be driving my grandchildren to and from school. How can these bus drivers respect a man who doesn't hold himself to the same standards he expects of them? When this happens, morale drops and when bus drivers are distraught, then they lose a bit of concentration. When concentration is focused on working conditions instead of tending to the job of transporting our children, the atmosphere is ripe for accidents and I certainly don't want my grandchildren (or any children) subjected to that. Come on Boardman! Get your b...ls out of your mother's purse for a change and do what must be done. Don't be governed by the "old Mahoning Valley politics" (and we all know what that means). Clean up this mess and put someone in that position that will be respected by all. Our children deserve better.

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