LEETONIA- A state audit released Tuesday determined a former village employee under indictment stole $1,700 from the Leetonia water lab.
According to a news release issued by the state auditor's office, ex-lab assistant Juanita L. Grant collected money for tests to be performed on water samples brought to the lab. A state audit of the water lab receipts from Jan. 1, 2010 through Feb. 29, 2012 found 95 instances totaling $1,700 where money was collected by Grant, but not deposited to the village.
"This appears to be a classic case of an employee caught with her hand in the cookie jar," Auditor of State Dave Yost said. "I'm glad Leetonia officials put controls in place to prevent this type of abuse from occurring again."
A finding for recovery in the amount of $1,700 was issued by the state against Grant, who has already repaid the village.
Grant, 51, Pearl Street, Leetonia, was indicted in May by the Columbiana County grand jury on a felony theft charge. She pleaded innocent, and a pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24 in county Common Pleas Court.
She resigned her position on March 1 after more than 10 years at the lab. Superintendent of Utilities Butch Donnalley has been handling all the lab work since.
Village Administrator Gary Phillips declined comment on the situation due to pending litigation.
A full copy of the audit may be accessed online at www.ohioauditor.gov.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org