Mazzoni CFO fired after five DUI arrests

Mazzoni CFO fired after five DUI arrests

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Mazzoni Center has fired its chief financial officer after he was arrested multiple times in the last 10 months on DUI and drug charges.

Nicholas Chaban, CFO of the LGBT health facility for nine years, was arrested five times in Montgomery County since December, including two consecutive days in July. After the fifth arrest last month, a judge revoked bail on his previous cases, and he has been in Montgomery County Prison since Sept. 24.

A court source said Chaban, of Roxborough, asked that he delay reporting to prison until Oct. 6 because of work obligations, but the judge denied that request.

Mazzoni Center executive director Nurit Shein confirmed Chaban was recently terminated, but declined to say when or provide any specifics, citing personnel policies.

“It is the policy of Mazzoni Center that we do not discuss personnel issues,” she said.

A job opening for CFO was posted Sept. 30. She said interviews start next week of both internal and external candidates, and she is “very confident that by the end of October we’ll have a new CFO.”

According to Mazzoni’s website, which last week still listed Chaban as CFO, he oversaw “all finance, organization operations and human resources” for the agency.

A website posting from 2010 listed him as an employee of the agency for 18 years. Shein said that, prior to 2005, Chaban worked on the organization’s finances in a contract position.

Shein said a routine annual financial audit was completed last month and the books are in order.

“This had no bearing on the financial situation of Mazzoni Center,” she said. “We had a clean audit, with no findings. No harm was ever done by the CFO to the financial situation of this organization.”

Chaban has a history of DUI arrests in Montgomery County dating back to 1984.

He pleaded guilty in 2003 and 1990, and was sentenced to fines and up to one year in prison for the 2003 arrest and up to 23 months for the 1990 case; it is unclear if he served prison time. He was arrested in 1999 for DUI and related charges, but that case was dismissed.

In the recent series, the first arrest was Dec. 1, 2013, in Whitemarsh Township, where Chaban was charged with DUI, disorderly conduct, drug possession, careless driving and related traffic violations. His blood-alcohol level was .162, about twice the legal limit.

On May 18, he was arrested in Conshohocken for drug possession, possession of paraphernalia, public drunkenness, defiant trespass, disorderly conduct and use of obscene language. In that case, according to Assistant District Attorney Brad Richman, captain of the DA’s DUI Unit, the owners of a Conshohocken bar ejected Chaban for being too intoxicated but he refused to leave and, upon his arrest, police discovered five blue pills that were found to be diazepam, an anti-anxiety medication.

On July 8, he was again arrested in Conshohocken and charged with DUI, public drunkenness, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and nearly 40 counts of drug possession. He was parked in front of a fire hydrant and when police asked him to move, he was visibility intoxicated and attempted to flee on foot. According to Richman, Chaban admitted to the arresting officer he had been drinking and police found 39 blue pills that Chaban told police were Valium, a brand name of diazepam. The pills have not yet been tested, Richman said.

The following day, Chaban was arrested for DUI after getting into a car accident.

His final DUI arrest came after an incident last month, in which he allegedly was the driver in a hit-and-run accident Sept. 12 on Stenton Avenue at Butler Pike. His black Chevy Corvette struck the rear of a stopped Ford150 truck and he drove off, but was then involved in a second crash. He refused to consent to a blood test so it is unclear if he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Bail in each case ranged from $5,000-$15,000.

Richman noted that at the beginning of this year, the county started a DUI Court, to streamline the hearing of DUI cases, and the corresponding DUI Unit, comprised of Richman and three ADAs.

“When we see multiple arrests like this, we file a bail revocation, usually even when there’s a second arrest. This one slipped through for whatever reason, but the district judge set additional bail with each arrest, the last one even being unsecured,” Richman explained. “But, this man is a perfect case in point — he was out continuing to drive, continuing to get into accidents and he could end up killing someone. So we filed the motion to revoke bail. This guy needs to be in custody, needs to start drying out, detoxing and go right into rehab. He can’t be out on the street continuing to operate a motor vehicle and putting himself and others at risk.”

According to financial records, Chaban’s salary at the end of 2012 was $121,448, an $11,000 increase over the previous year. The organization reported income of $10.2 million in 2012, with net assets of $3.2 million.

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