Mahoning commissioners fire AFSCME leader Youngblood

Mahoning commissioners fire AFSCME leader Youngblood


The Mahoning County commissioners this morning fired Helen Youngblood, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2001, from her job as a trainer in the county’s Department of Job and Family Services.

The AFSCME labor union represents JFS workers.

The action, which will take effect Monday, was taken by Carol Rimedio-Righetti, chairwoman of the county commissioners, and Commissioner David Ditzler in the absence of Commissioner Anthony Traficanti.

A pre-disciplinary notice from Robert E. Bush Jr, JFS director, accused Youngblood of insubordination by refusing to comply with the instructions of Lori Murphy, JFS business office administrator, and using threatening language during a Sept. 25 disciplinary meeting concerning another employee.

The notice accused Youngblood of failure of good behavior for purportedly sending Murphy an e-mail in advance of that meeting questioning the need for the sheriff’s department to provide security at the meeting and asking if security is “called for black people only.”

The e-mail asked: “Do you have a rope for lynching in your office.” Youngblood, who was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 26 pending discipline, is black. Murphy is white.

Bush said the e-mail was “disruptive of the workplace” and racially offensive.

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