A former DeGraff village employee was arrested this week and has been charged with embezzling public funds.
Jennifer Dearwester, 48, was indicted this week by a Logan County grand jury on three counts of tampering with records, and single counts each of theft in office and aggravated theft. All charges are third-degree felonies.
Dearwester worked as the village of DeGraff utility clerk from September 2006 and March 2018. Between January 2014 and March 2018, she is alleged to have misappropriated cash utility payments from residents and tampered with information in the village utility system.
“It is believed that the losses to the village exceed $150,000,” according to a release from the Ohio Auditor of State’s office.
An investigation from the fraud investigation unit of the Ohio Auditor’s Office was launched in 2018 after village employees reported their suspicions to the state of Ohio. Dearwester was arrested Wednesday, but was released Friday from the Logan County Jail following an arraignment.
“Our Special Investigations Unit is a group of law enforcement professionals dedicated to rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse in government,” Ohio Auditor Keith Faber said.
“Thanks to their hard work, Ohioans everywhere can rest assured knowing someone is looking out for their hard earned tax dollars.”
A trial date was set for June 18.