Former health department administrator blames bosses | News, Sports, Jobs

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&#13 &#13 &#13 Demo Carries on — Former Jefferson County Overall health Department administrator Annette Stewart seems to be over circumstance do the job Wednesday with her lawyer, Dennis McNamara. — Linda Harris &#13 STEUBENVILLE — The previous Jefferson County wellness office administrator who allegedly gave herself a pay back […]

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Demo Carries on — Former Jefferson County Overall health Department administrator Annette Stewart seems to be over circumstance do the job Wednesday with her lawyer, Dennis McNamara.
— Linda Harris

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STEUBENVILLE — The previous Jefferson County wellness office administrator who allegedly gave herself a pay back raise and then doctored official records to deal with it up insisted to a Jefferson County Widespread Pleas Court docket jury Wednesday she only did what she was told.

Annette Stewart, less than indictment for theft in business office, tampering with data, falsification and having an illegal desire in a general public deal, stated it was her bosses, the late Dr. Frank L. Petrola, longtime chairman of the board, and Dr. Frank J. Petrola, former overall health district commissioner, who advised her to amend her minutes of the April 25, 2017, board conference to say she’d been given a hefty, $12 an hour shell out raise.

Prosecutors contend Stewart was capable to pocket just about $63,000 in office cash to which she was not entitled.

According to the indictment, Stewart “falsified documents to improve her wage, without the need of the knowledge or approval” of the wellbeing board. Prosecutors also contend she employed her placement as an administrator to get her son a work in Oct 2017.

“I was instructed to proper the minutes and insert the data in there,” Stewart told the jury. “I even questioned where to place it.”

Stewart claimed she was at that April 25, 2017, board conference but was nervous and experienced a toilet unexpected emergency so she left the area with out everyone noticing. She claimed she was unaware of the increase until eventually she was planning to send out the conference minutes just right before the Could board meeting, including, “When the board president tells you to do something, you do it.”

“Frank L. …asked me why my (spend raise) was not in there,” she claimed. “I advised him I was not in there and … didn’t know about it. I never consider people today realized I remaining the board meeting, I just received up and still left.”

There was no point out of a pay increase for Stewart in the Herald-Star’s coverage of the conference, however Frank J. Petrola’s choice as commissioner was lined in depth.

Frank L. Petrola died in 2020, two many years right before Stewart’s indictment, and his cousin, Frank J. Petrola, is not in a position to testify, “so all we have is your term,” Assistant Legal professional General Anthony Cillo insisted, having Stewart to also admit she hardly ever thanked the board customers for the shell out enhance nor experienced she called their notice to the improvements she’d created to the minutes.

Cillo also pointed out discrepancies in the quantity he stated Stewart paid herself, listing it as “$40.01” in some memos and “$42.01 in other folks,” but she proposed the discrepancy was somebody else’s clerical mistake, as was her son’s designation as a “registered sanitarian.”

“A $25,000 raise didn’t make me great, nor would it make any individual great,” Stewart replied, and admitted her son experienced no degree or expertise in the area and was an unclassified, seasonal personnel, while his hrs doubled and he obtained compensated holiday seasons prosecutors say he should not have gotten.

“I did not approve (it),” Stewart stated.

She also stated it was not her plan to ban other staff members accustomed to being offered at board conferences from attending, telling jurors she sent that memo out “as I was instructed to by Dr. Petrola.”

Protection Lawyer Dennis McNamara requested Stewart if she’d ever knowingly taken money (you) weren’t entitled to or falsified documents, to which she answered, “No.” She also insisted she’d “never hired my son, by no means asked anybody to use my son,” telling the jury it was Frank J. Petrola who created that choice before she was even aware it was staying thought of.

Earlier in the working day, McNamara experienced asked Registered Sanitarian Carla Gampola about unrest inside of the staff just after Stewart attained electrical power, and questioned if she’d just been upset simply because she located out other staffers had been becoming dealt with to a conference out-of-point out but she was advised she could not go since “someone has to remain at the rear of.”

“You do what the manager tells you to do,” Gampola replied, telling jurors Stewart “was not my working day-to-day supervisor, but if she told me to do something, I did it.”

After examining time sheets, the department’s payroll and other documents, Auditor Melissa Barnett advised jurors there was no history of Jesse Cook, her son, even implementing for a task.

“They really don’t have any (files) to show he ever interviewed or manufactured application” for a job at the wellness division, she stated. “The only thing we (uncovered) is a letter submitted to the auditor” asserting he was signing up for the workers.

“That was (from) Annette Stewart, that was her task,” reported Barnett, who testified by way of Zoom because of to illness.

Prosecutors questioned Stewart’s spouse, Carl, about the couples’ indebtedness just before his wife’s pay back increase. Stewart, a SVRTA bus driver just before getting identified with highly developed COPD, explained to them, “We experienced a typical everyday living. I never know what you necessarily mean by a whole lot of debt.”

“We had credit cards we created payment to,” he claimed, conceding he had to leave his task since of his health and experienced no wellbeing added benefits or individual earnings until his disability was granted a yr afterwards. He also admitted his stepson, who died two decades ago at the age of 35, had a material abuse disorder, but informed jurors no medications had been uncovered in his process.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday with closing arguments.

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