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Ex-firefighter reimburses Boardman Township 50k



Published: Thu, March 27, 2014 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

A retired firefighter agreed to pay $50,000 back to Boardman Township this week after he pleaded guilty to a charge he traded shifts with other firefighters.

Clifford Phillips, 50, of Meadowood Circle in Poland, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman to a misdemeanor count of complicity to receive improper compensation.

He also agreed to pay the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation $2,000 to reimburse its costs for helping township authorities to investigate the case.

County Prosecutor Paul Gains said two firefighters were suspended for a week without pay for helping Phillips but were not charged because they cooperated with authorities. Fire Chief George Brown said he did not want to identify the firefighters and referred a reporter to township Administrator Jason Loree, who did not return a message seeking comment.

Phillips has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached to comment.

Gains said Phillips pleaded guilty to trading shifts with other firefighters as he worked at a business he owns.

He said the township and the union representing firefighters have since banned the practice.

Gains said the trading was going on for about six months before it was stopped.

The charges began as part of a probe that began in 2012, when township police asked BCI to help them in the investigation.

Brown said Phillips has been a firefighter with several area departments and began working in Boardman in 2003. He retired in December 2012.

Brown said the actions of Phillips and the other two firefighters are not typical of members of the department.

“This does not reflect on our other firefighters,” Brown said.

Gains said it took a long time to bring the case to a resolution because there were some complicated legal issues to resolve, such as collective-bargaining law.


Comments

1bmanresident(597 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This public servant should be ashamed of himself!! Mr. Phillips should hang his head in shame! What if a fire occurred during his supposed shift and he was out "running a business". What business does he run anyhow? Remind me never to spend my money there.

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2billdog1(1219 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

He traded shifts, I don't see where this is criminal. This happens at many business' because people have children, other part-time jobs or parents they help to take care of. As long as a shift is covered whats the problem? It isn't like he didn't work for the wages he received according to the article, he traded shifts with other firefighters.

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3Knightcap(699 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Just another day of feeding at the public trough. Nothing here. Just move along.

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4Ianacek(909 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

This has been going on in fire departments across the country.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index....

It's amazing department bosses didn't know what was happening . Perhaps the culture just grew until it was impliedly accepted . Anyway , it should be stopped now . Has Youngstown Fire dept been audited for this practice ?

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52muchtax(321 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

You can chalk this upto the public unions always protecting these clowns! How about the DROP program or when the for n police retire then work another three years and and get double pay for the whole three years! Which is nothing but ripping off the taxpayers again! I personally know of a an AUSTINTOWN fireman doing this now! Wouldn't it be nice to work one job but get paid for two! Vote no on all levies till these practices quit ripping off the taxpayers!

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6HSG(123 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

why dont vindicator start doggin' Brad Calhoun and other bdmn trustees, tryin ta figure out wha's up?

jus sayin really, why not?

Boardman trustees initimidated by boardman fire fighters union, I predict!

Hey also, how many "FIRES" in bdmn last year ? 20?
14? How much fire-fightin' we need, anyway?

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7HSG(123 comments)posted 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Time for 'fire department 'in boardman to COME CLEAN, and S T O P sending 5 vehicles to EACH incident, instead o 1 or 2, say! And stop hangin upthe taxpayas o bdmn for all their overtime/sleepytime. etc., and get some people on staff who realize what fire dept really is-----part time, normal hours, etc.

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