YOUNGSTOWN – Former Youngstown police officer Phil L. Chance Jr. was unable to complete his 30 days of community service last year as part of his sentence for issuing 263 certificates of worthless concealed weapon between 2011 and 2018.
Judge Maureen Sweeney of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas received a letter from a doctor stating Chance, 41, of Boardman, should not lift more than 3 pounds due to medical issues, Mike Yacovone said , assistant county attorney.
When Chance was sentenced in January 2021, one of his punishments was that he had to perform 30 days of community service under the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office day report program, documents show. judicial.
But it required him to perform tasks his body cannot handle, his doctor advised the judge. So at a hearing on Monday, Sweeney changed Chance’s community service to the United Way of Mahoning County, according to a court order. Yacovone said United Way can provide a less physical type of community service.
Since Chance has not performed any community service, he must perform 60 days of community service this year, followed by 30 days per year in 2023, 2024 and 2025 until he reaches 150 days.
If Chance fails to complete his five years of probation, he could face up to three years in prison, the judge told him in January 2021.
Chance earlier pleaded guilty to six counts of tampering with records for issuing concealed carry permits to individuals when Chance was not a certified CCW instructor.
“In particular, there were many instances where these people had certificates and never went to a class, never shot at a shooting range, nothing like that,” Yacovone said in 2021. It is obviously vital to have a responsibility such as having a certificate.”
That means 263 people received a certificate to carry a firearm when they shouldn’t have had one, Yacovone said.
Chance charged about $100 for each permit.
In addition to community service, Sweeney ordered Chance to spend six months in jail and an additional six months under electronic house arrest. She ordered a $7,500 fine and ordered him to reimburse the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office $6,983 for the cost of notifying as many of the 263 people as possible that they needed to replace their fake license with a real.
Chance resigned from the Youngstown Police Department in 2012 after officials received complaints from people who said Chance stole money from someone he came into contact with as an officer.
With the help of the FBI, the police set up an “integrity test” for Chance, putting him in a situation where he had something of value to take. Chance failed the test, resigned, and also relinquished his Ohio police officer certification or faces fire and possible prosecution.
During last January’s sentencing hearing, his attorney, Damian Billak, spoke about Chance’s spinal injuries, his role as sole caretaker to his elderly father, Phil Chance Sr., and the accidental way whose scheme “went out of control”.
Billak said Chance underwent “full spinal fusion surgery” and was “literally and figuratively inches away from paralysis,” Billak said. He suggested that with the law enforcement background of Chance Jr. and his father, a former Mahoning County sheriff, Chance Jr. could be a target in prison. With the spinal issues, he might not make it out alive, Billak said.
“What could just be an altercation between inmates, in this situation, knowing who he is, who his family is, any type of physical altercation could lead to paralysis,” Billak said.
Phil Chance Sr. served as sheriff of Mahoning County from January 7, 1997, to July 16, 1999, but resigned following allegations of improprieties. He was convicted after a trial in federal court and served time in federal prison.