City auditor admits to white powder hoax against ex-employer

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — An elected city auditor in northeast Ohio accused of sending his former employer an envelope containing white powder that turned out to be harmless has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Anthony Natale (NAY’-tuhl) changed his plea Tuesday in Youngstown. He pleaded guilty to conveying false information related to the use of a weapon of mass destruction. His sentencing is scheduled for September.

Authorities say 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 determined the powder was harmless.

Natale became Warren’s city auditor in January. He has lost that job.

Natale told the judge he has decided to change.