Youngstown City Hall cleaner charged with taking city credit card

By Joe Gorman


A worker for the firm contracted by the city to do cleaning at city hall is accused of stealing a city credit card and ringing up more than $900 in charges.

Anthony McDowell, 40, of Carlotta Avenue, is in the Mahoning County jail after his arraignment Friday before Magistrate Anthony Sertick on felony charges of theft and misuse of a credit card. Sertick set bond at $40,000.

McDowell is an employee of American Maintenance Services, which cleans offices and other areas in city hall.

City Prosecutor Dana Lantz told Sertick the credit card McDowell is accused of stealing was taken from the finance department. She said it was used to buy alcohol and clothes, and there is video footage showing McDowell using the card to buy those items.

Lantz said there is one more card missing from the finance department, along with two checks. Lantz said McDowell admitted taking the card that was used but has denied taking the other card and the checks.

An investigation continues, Lantz said.

McDowell was taken into custody just after 4 p.m. Thursday at city hall, an arrest report said.

A criminal complaint says the card was taken Aug. 19 and reported missing Aug. 22. In the complaint, it says the card was used primarily at a Family Dollar store and Gypsy Beverage store.

Lantz also said McDowell has an extensive criminal record and is on parole for aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2004 after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated robbery with a firearm specification and carrying a concealed weapon.

Court records also show that in 1996, McDowell was sentenced to a year in prison for a carrying a concealed weapon.

Sean McKinney, the city’s building and grounds supervisor, said the company had its contract renewed to clean city hall May 1. He said there have been no major issues with the company before.

Messages left at the company’s Market Street offices Friday afternoon were not returned.

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