Former Swanton utility clerk charged with theft of nearly $65K

Staff Report

A former utility clerk for the Village of Swanton is facing felony charges in the theft of nearly $65,000, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber announced Tuesday.

Kari Rowe, of Wauseon, made her initial appearance in Fulton County Common Pleas Court on one count of theft in office and one count of tampering with records, under a Grand Jury indictment unsealed Tuesday.

The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) opened an investigation into Rowe after serious anomalies were discovered during an audit of Swanton’s finances for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, including utility payments that were not deposited into the Village’s bank account. SIU determined Rowe, who worked for the Village from May 2002 until her resignation in January 2018, had misappropriated $64,342.15, an Auditor’s Office statement said.

Rowe made her initial appearance in Fulton County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday. The next pre-trial hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 22.

This is the second theft charge against a Village of Swanton employee in the last two years.

Steven Geise of Delta, Swanton’s former superintendent of wastewater services, pleaded guilty last December to a charge of theft after an indictment that said he stole funds or permitted his office’s use in the commission of the offense. He was sentenced to one year of community control, ordered to complete 90 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution to the Village of Swanton in the amount of $1,326.06.

He paid the village back and his community control was ended early in July.

Staff Report