Ohio city auditor pleads not guilty in threat to ex-employer

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An elected city auditor in northeast Ohio has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge after authorities alleged he sent his former employer an envelope containing white powder that turned out to be harmless.

Anthony Natale (NAY’-tuhl) is free on bond after entering his plea Wednesday in Youngstown. He’s charged with conveying false information related to use of a weapon of mass destruction.

His attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

An FBI affidavit says an envelope containing white powder and health insurance documents pertaining to Natale was mailed in November 2014 to the Youngstown-area copy machine business that fired him the previous month. The business was evacuated, and a hazardous materials team responded. Tests showed the powder was harmless.

The 37-year-old Natale became Warren’s city auditor in January.