Youngstown board agrees to pay $50,000 to its insurance company to settle a sexual-harassment complaint

Published: Fri, July 4, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick


The board of control authorized a $50,000 payment to the city’s insurance company to resolve a complaint filed by a former employee who was sexually harassed on the job.

The board voted Thursday to make the payment to HCC Public Risk Claim Service.

Lyndsey Hughes, who was the city’s downtown director of events, special projects and marketing, received a $72,000 settlement while Andrew L. Margolius and Barbara A. Belovich, her Cleveland-based attorneys, were paid $48,000 in total to settle the dispute last month.

The agreement also included a provision that Hughes no longer would keep the job she had since 2008. Hughes was making $41,125 annually.

A Dec. 6, 2013, report conducted on behalf of the city concluded that DeMaine Kitchen, chief of staff/secretary to former mayor Charles Sammarone and also a former city councilman, sexually harassed Hughes.

That report included an admission from Kitchen, a failed 2013 mayoral candidate, that he made inappropriate and flirtatious remarks to Hughes both verbally and through text messages.

City council hasn’t come to an agreement as to what to do with the vacant position. There is talk of making the post part time as well as a disagreement about whether council members — who’ve controlled that hire for decades — have the authority to do so.

The board also agreed to provide up to $50,000 to a company looking to expand.

DNV Energy LLC, affiliated with Youngstown Pipe & Steel, is looking to spend $1.15 million to expand its presence in the fabrication and distribution of equipment used in the oil- and gas-drilling industry.

The company is on Wilson Avenue on the former Cold Metal Products property located in both Youngstown and Campbell.

Campbell has agreed to also provide up to $50,000 to DNV.

The two cities share income-tax revenue from DNV workers.

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