COLUMBUS – Findings for recovery of $32,757 were issued Thursday against the former Pomeroy Mayor’s Court Clerk and two others, following a special audit into receipts that were not deposited into village accounts, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
The issue came to light after village officials voiced concerns to state auditors about Denessa Stewart, who stopped showing up for work as Mayor’s Court Clerk about nine months after she was hired. A subsequent review of finances uncovered evidence that cash and other payments for fines were not deposited and required accounting records that were in disarray or missing.
Thursday’s finding for recovery includes $32,292 against Stewart and former Mayor Bryan Shank and his bonding company, the latter jointly and severally liable for the missing receipts. An additional finding for recovery of $465 was issued against a former village police dispatcher, Cathy Justis, who died in December 2022.
The full report of SIU’s investigation is available online (ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/search.aspx). While SIU did confirm funds were collected but not deposited, there was not sufficient evidence to support criminal charges.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 115 convictions resulting in more than $8.2 million in restitution (see?Map of SIU Convictions?since January 2019). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364).