OTTAWA — A Putnam County township fiscal officer was indicted by a Putnam County Grand Jury on theft in office charges Wednesday.
Kyle L. Unverferth, Union Township fiscal officer, was indicted on one count of theft, a felony of the fourth degree, for allegedly being involved in stealing a Dell Latitude computer system and a Dell OptiPlex 9010 computer tower owned by Union Township between Sept. 25, 2017-Oct. 10, 2017. The value of the property is estimated at $1,000 or more but less than $7,500.
Unverferth was also indicted on one count of tampering with records, a felony of the fifth degree, for allegedly tampering with Union Township financial records, including cash journals, bank statements, payments to vendors and bills and back-up information owned by Union Township for 2016 and 2017.
Lastly, he was charged with one count of knowingly making a false statement, a felony of the fifth degree, when he allegedly filed a false report with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department with the purpose of committing, or facilitating, the commission of a theft and/or tampering with records. The value of the property or services that were stolen was estimated at $1,000 or more but less than $7,500.
Gary Lammers requested a special prosecutor be assigned to investigate the charges against Unverferth because Lammers represents the Putnam County townships, he said. It would be a conflict of interest to investigate the matter himself, he said.
Robert Smith, assistant chief legal counsel for the Ohio Auditor’s Office, has been assigned to prosecute the case, Lammers said. A voicemail left for Smith was not returned Friday.
Dominic Binkley, public information officer with the Ohio Auditor’s Office, said the charges against Unverferth could not be discussed because they could be possibly linked to an ongoing audit of Union Township.
William Leopold, Union Township trustee, said he would rather not comment because he didn’t have all of the details and he didn’t want to speculate. Union Township Trustees Mark Kahle and Steven Smith did not return voicemails Friday.
Unverferth was unreachable for comment. His lawyer, Robert Grzybowski did not return a voicemail Friday.
Unverferth will be arraigned at 11 a.m. Jan. 29 at the Putnam County Common Pleas Court.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362