WAUSEON, Ohio (WCMH) — A woman who worked as a utility clerk in a northwest Ohio village was sentenced to prison after being accused of stealing public funds.
According to a news release from the Ohio state auditor’s office, Kari Rowe, who worked as a utility clerk for the village of Swanton, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for one count of theft in office. Rowe, a native of Wauseon in Fulton County, pleaded guilty of misappropriating nearly $65,000 in public funds while serving as the village’s clerk.
An investigation led by the Auditor’s Special Investigations Unit began after noticeable anomalies in Swanton’s finances during an audit of its 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. Among the anomalies was utility payments that were not deposited into the village’s bank account.
The investigation into Rowe, who worked for the village for 16 years, determined she misappropriated $64,342 in public funds from Fulton County. She was indicted in October before pleading guilty on Feb. 3. In addition to Rowe’s prison sentence, she is ordered to pay more than $128,000 in restitution, which includes audit costs and the stolen funds.