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Phil Chance Jr. enters plea to records tampering

Staff photo / Ed Runyan Phil Chance Jr., left, stands with his attorney, Damian Billak, on Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, where he pleaded guilty to six counts of tampering with records.

YOUNGSTOWN — A Boardman man who had to resign from the Youngstown Police Department in 2012 and never again work as a police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to six counts of tampering with records.

Phil Chance Jr., 41, of Glenridge Road, could get up to three years in prison when Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentences him at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 15.

At the time Chance was indicted in 2019, authorities said Chance’s offenses were falsifying certification and attendance records for people trying to get their carrying-a-concealed-weapon certification.

Authorities said Chance had been giving CCW lessons since 2010, but he was not certified at the time of the offenses in 2018 to be an instructor.

Chance’s indictments say the offenses occurred at various times in 2018. The documents give the name of six people whose CCW permits were involved.

Chance also was indicted on six counts of falsification to obtain a concealed handgun license, but prosecutors dismissed those charges in exchange for guilty pleas on the tampering.

Chance resigned from the Youngstown Police Department in 2012 after officials received complaints from people who said Chance stole money from someone he came in contact with as an officer.

With the help of the FBI, police set up an “integrity test” for Chance, placing him in a situation where there was something of value for him to take. Chance failed the test, resigned and also gave up his certification to be a police officer in Ohio or face being fired and possible prosecution.

That came on the heels of a 60-day suspension for using a drug not approved by a city-approved doctor. When he came back on duty, he signed an agreement that if he was ever in trouble again, he would resign.

His father, Phil Chance Sr., served as Mahoning County sheriff from Jan. 7, 1997, until July 16, 1999, but resigned amid allegations of impropriety. He was convicted after a trial in federal court and served a federal prison sentence.

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