A former Enon clerk-treasurer accused of stealing almost $40,000 from the village has pleaded guilty to a felony count of theft in office as part of a plea agreement reached with the prosecutor’s office.
Debra E. Maurer, 49, also pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. She had previously faced one count of theft in office and 12 counts of tampering with evidence for allegedly stealing $39,450 from the village while working there as the clerk-treasurer.
As part of the plea agreement, Maurer will pay $54,000 in restitution to Enon, said Brian Driscoll, assistant prosecutor for the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office.
Enon Mayor Tim Howard said he is satisfied with the deal struck between Maurer and the prosecutors. He also said he is confident Enon will be paid the restitution, which includes stolen money and costs incurred during the investigation.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this and we are glad at the village of Enon that this next step has been taken because we have all been disturbed about what has transpired,” Howard said. “Taxpayer money was used in a large part of the investigation and what we had to do to try to get our books in order.”
The theft has led the village to put more checks and balances in place to ensure that nothing similar occurs in the future, Howard said. Enon will undergo an audit through the Ohio Auditor’s Office in the next few weeks, and Howard said he is confident no discrepancies will be found this time.
Maurer was elected as clerk-treasurer in November 2003 and again in November 2007. She didn’t run for re-election again and her term expired on March 31, 2012.
In a search warrant affidavit, the current village clerk-treasurer said she was unable to balance the books when she took over, that state taxes hadn’t been paid and that she found a discrepancy of more than $227,700 when reconciling the village’s books with bank statements.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office was asked to investigate, with the assistance of the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
The state investigators analyzed the village computer. According to the affidavit, in their opinion, “a manipulation was done on this computer that enabled the user to create two separate set of records. It is the opinion of BCI&I agents that had this only been a mistake, it would have been caught as the records would not balance out.”
Maurer allegedly altered the village records to hide the theft, according to court records, and then deposited the government funds into her personal account.
A call to Maurer’s defense attorney wasn’t returned. A sentencing hearing on the criminal charges is scheduled for June 24 in the Clark County Common Pleas Court.