Struthers safety services director held in contempt of court after outburst

Graig Graziosi


The city’s safety services director was cited for contempt of court by Municipal Court Judge Dominic Leone after an altercation this week.

A court order, released Friday, says Ed Wildes, safety services director, on Monday confronted Judge Leone in a hallway outside of the courtroom, in front of “defendants, attorneys, witnesses, court staff and city employees,” over the location of the city’s community service supervisor, Ralph Centofani, and his probationers.

The order says Judge Leone told Wildes the probationers were working at a soup kitchen in Youngstown.

According to the order, Wildes became irate at that point and began yelling he wanted the probationers working in Struthers, and that he wished to speak with Centofani.

After that exchange, Judge Leone told Wildes the probationers and Centofani were under the control of the court and not the safety services director, which the report suggests further enraged Wildes, prompting him to “yell obscenities, berate, disrespect, embarrass and attempt to impede or obstruct the court in the performance of its functions of supervising probationers” and “continued to yell obscenities going down the hall.”

On Wednesday, Judge Leone notified Wildes he was citing him for contempt of court and informed him he had a right to have a full hearing, which Wildes waived.

Judge Leone fined Wildes $250, with $190 of the fine suspended.

Wildes declined to comment on the situation.

Mayor Terry Stocker said he had mostly been in the dark about the altercation.

“From my understanding, it was a basic conversation in the hallway,” Stocker said. “I’m not sure what the issue was, and I don’t think Mr. Wildes does either, but he was never in the courtroom, and I think some people are trying to blow this out of context.”