Former sheriff’s major convicted in inmate beatings

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a federal jury convicted a former high-ranking Mahoning County sheriff’s officer yesterday in the beating of two inmates and ordering the beating of a third.

From the story:

    Former sheriff’s Maj. Michael J. Budd, 44, of Boardman near Youngstown, was convicted in U.S. District Court in Cleveland on charges of using his position to deprive the three inmates of their civil rights.

    He could face up to 10 years in prison on each count at his sentencing July 7 before Judge Lesley Brooks Wells.

    A jury in a separate trial had deadlocked on the counts last month but convicted him on a fourth count of conspiring to deprive an inmate of his civil rights.

    Budd, who joined the sheriff’s office in Youngstown in 1991, resigned after his conviction last month.

This is only the latest of several corrupt officials to have had troubles with the law in Mahoning County in recent memory. When it comes to administration of the concealed carry law, a different kind of corruption appears to be coming from the very top.

According to Attorney General Petro's 2004 annual report, the Mahoning County sheriff's office issued 1.77% of the licenses issued in the state (18th overall), but had 8.49% of the denials (2nd overall) - a denial rate of 1 denial for every 21.8 concealed handgun licenses issued. The only county with more denials was Hamilton. However, that county issued 173% of the licenses that Mahoning did. Initial calculations suggest that Mahoning County has, by far, has the highest denial per issuance rate in the state.

OFCC has been notified of several instances of CHL-holders who say they have been forced to wait months and months before receiving their licenses in this county. Instances of denials for non-disqualifying reasons are also being reported to OFCC.

Judging by these reports, civil rights proponents need to be looking out for CHL-applicants in Mahoning Co. every bit as much as they do for prison inmates.

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