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Ethics investigation led to Trumbull chief deputy's resignation

Published: Tue, May 13, 2014 @ 10:14 a.m.


Donald Guarino, former chief deputy with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, resigned at the end of 2013 as a result of an investigation that turned up evidence he used his position to aid his son, a deputy.

Guarino, who oversaw operation of the jail, media relations and projects such as inmate-work programs, retired from the job and agrees not to accept employment with the department in the future, according to a settlement agreement with the Ohio Ethics Commission Guarino signed April 16.

The agreement says Guarino admits he “participated extensively in numerous employment matters involving his son,” David Guarino.

In May 2011, he assigned his son to the Dive Team, which resulted in the sheriff’s office paying $1,583 for David Guarino’s training and equipment, and increasing his overtime pay to $1,354.

Donald Guarino also approved David Guarino’s sick leave, vacation leave and compensatory time and signed his overtime request forms, the agreement says.

In October, 2013, the ethics commission found that Donald Guarino broke Ohio ethics laws that govern conflicts of interest.

Donald Guarino “acknowledges the facts demonstrate a violation, but he does not admit guilt,” the agreement says.

Witnesses told the commission that Donald Guarino was involved in his son’s promotion from corrections officer to road deputy, which raised his pay from $13.99 per hour to $15.21, but Sheriff Thomas Altiere denied that the elder Guarino influenced the decision to promote him, the agreement says.

The commission agrees not to refer this matter to the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution.

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