Perrysburg school employee fired after arrest for theft PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 14 July 2014 10:24
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File photo. Eric Whitson (right) appears in Perrysburg Municipal Court. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG — School board members voted to fire the district employee charged with two felony counts of theft.
Eric Whitson, who worked in the district treasurer’s office since 2004, had been suspended and did not appear at a disciplinary hearing Thursday, said Superintendent Tom Hosler. Whitson had union representation present who did not immediately express an intent to appeal, he added.
Without offering specifics, Hosler said an internal investigation led through due process to fire Whitson, who faces up to three years in prison if convicted of both charges.
“Based on the information that we are able to gather from the prosecutor’s office, we have found that there are examples of things that he had done, regardless of the outcome of his court case, that give us just cause to terminate,” Hosler said.
The board voted unanimously to fire Whitson, who was arrested July 2 after it became apparent that he improperly issued at least two checks totaling $80,000 from the district to the Bowling Green Bobcat Athletic Boosters.
“We are not just disappointed. We are angry,” said board member Walt Edinger. “This is an infuriating thing, when a person of trust violates that trust and hurts the district and hurts the community. The sooner gone the better.” 
Whitson, 30, had served as treasurer of the BG group and issued the checks in February when he was about to be replaced, Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson said following the arrest.
During a preliminary hearing in Perrysburg Municipal Court last week, Whitson was ordered to have no contact with Hollywood Casino or anywhere games of chance are played. He was also barred from contacting the BG boosters group and the Northwest Ohio Leukemia Foundation.
The case will soon be given to a Wood County grand jury.
“While this is a theft, to those people that knew and worked with Eric, it was really a betrayal,” Hosler said, adding that staff will work with outside auditors to review the circumstances surrounding Whitson’s alleged crime to “bolster our existing policies and practices.”
“While the investigation is still ongoing, we know now that despite our best efforts, we fell short in immediately detecting his scheme.”

 

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 07:56
 

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