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Guilty plea entered for theft in office

LISBON — Melissa K. Brennen, a former employee of the County Engineer’s Office, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to a theft in office charge in Common Pleas Court.

Brennen, 50, state Route 7, Columbiana, had been charged with both tampering with records and theft in office, pleading guilty to the fourth-degree felony charge in a plea agreement. Brennen was sent for a presentencing investigation prior to her sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Jan. 4.

Irregularities were reportedly found in late 2019 in a cash account from the tax map office of county Engineer Bert Dawson, which is located on South Market Street in Lisbon. The missing funds amounted to $2,940.

Dawson reported the discovery to the sheriff’s office and the matter was directed to the office of County Prosecutor Robert Herron, which was involved in conducting a 10-day investigation. Additionally, the state auditor’s office conducted an audit of the account.

Brennen had been scheduled for a jury trial on Wednesday, but that was canceled after a plea agreement was reached.

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