A South Vienna police officer whose wife is under investigation after allegations that she lied about having cancer and took money from fundraisers will be placed on administrative leave.
And a longtime family friend who helped the family with fundraisers said Thursday that he was heartbroken by the news.
The Springfield News-Sun broke the story that Michelle Mundy, 38, is being investigated by Springfield police after her former employer, the Ohio Masonic Home, told officers she lied about having Stage 4 Lymphoma and received a “substantial amount” of money from Masonic Home fundraisers.
Chief Stephen Moody could not be reached for comment Thursday on the status of the investigation, but Mundy has not been charged.
Her husband, Joseph “Matt” Mundy, is a South Vienna police officer.
Sgt. Bryan Sullivan is acting chief for South Vienna while Chief Patrick Sullivan is out on medical leave. He said his office received a call Monday about the allegation that Michelle Mundy did not have cancer.
On Tuesday, he said, they received a copy of the report from Springfield police and attempted to reach Matt Mundy.
“We have, myself and the chief, have both tried to make contact with him several times, left voicemails, and to this date we have not heard back from him,” Sgt. Sullivan said Thursday. “Because of the pending investigation, the chief has decided once we make contact with him, we will be placing him on unpaid leave until the end of the investigation.”
He said that is standard procedure and that the department does not offer paid leave. Matt Mundy is a paid part-time officer who has served in South Vienna since January 2004. South Vienna has 11 officers, 6 of whom are paid. Matt Mundy typically works Mondays from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Sullivan said he’s staying in contact with Springfield police during the investigation. Matt Mundy was not named in the report from the Ohio Masonic Home. South Vienna would complete its own internal investigation should Matt Mundy become involved in the case, Sullivan said.
Michelle Mundy declined to speak to a reporter Wednesday, and multiple messages left for Matt Mundy were not returned.
The Springfield News-Sun uncovered at least half a dozen fundraisers held for Michelle Mundy through the Masonic Home, friends, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and various sports groups.
Many of the events were held in Clark County. To date, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has not received any complaints connected to the Mundys. Should the office receive a complaint, detectives would address concerns then, said Lt. Chris Clark.
If the allegations about the Mundys are shown to be true, there is no more compelling victim than local singer and guitar player Ryan Judy.
Judy is not only a childhood friend of Matt Mundy, he played at a fundraiser at Bogey’s on Springfield Xenia Road in November for Michelle at Matt’s request. Judy is a survivor of the very kind of cancer Michelle is suspected of untruthfully claiming to have.
“I had this disease when I was 15,” said Judy, now 37. “I was in the hospital pretty much my freshman year of high school,” enduring chemotherapy.
Judy said he’s been friends with Matt “for a long time” as the two lived on the same street as children and both attended Clark-Shawnee schools. That friendship has continued into adulthood, and the two usually talk on a weekly basis, Judy said.
When he was fighting the disease, Judy said Matt Mundy as well as other friends witnessed his fight against the disease firsthand.
“When I was allowed to be home, I would be sleeping on the couch and have pretty bad sickness going on,” he said. “And they, my friends, would take shifts and come sleep on the floor next to me.”
However things turn out, “I’m not going to regret giving my time.”
“The way I understood it, she had been sick many years ago with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” he said.
If the allegations are true, it will raise questions in Judy’s mind about whether her original bout with the disease really happened. And that might raise the possibility that the disease was chosen for the alleged scam because of Judy’s friendship with Matt Mundy.
“If this is the case,” said Judy, “I’m just terribly shocked.”
While the possibility of “irks me,”and the thought of it is “pretty heartbreaking,” he said it’s done and he’s going to look ahead.
“I’m an entertainer. And if other people need me (for benefits), I’m not going to turn them away. I’m not going to be deterred by that.”
The Springfield News-Sun was the first bring you this story, and we are committed to following the latest developments.