YOUNGSTOWN - The city hired a former Summit County Sheriff's Office detective who now owns a security company to investigate sexual harassment allegations made against DeMaine Kitchen, an independent candidate for mayor.
Youngstown Law Director Anthony Farris said Friday the city hired Steve Sample, whose 23 years at the sheriff's office was mostly spent as a detective. Farris said Sample retired from the county job last year and started the Akron-based security company Sample Security and Investigation, which does a lot of work investigating accusations of employee misconduct.
The agreement calls for fees of $60 an hour per investigator and caps the cost at $10,000. Beyond that, ''explicit authorization'' is needed for additional money, Farris said. Also, the city will pay for any scientific or technical needs required by Sample Security that may be outside its scope.
Kitchen, who's on leave from his position as Youngstown chief of staff / secretary to focus on the campaign, has been accused of sexual harassment by a female city employee, Lindsey Hughes, director of downtown events and special projects. She claims Kitchen has made sexual advances to her over the past two years.
Kitchen denies the allegations, calling them politically motivated.