Shawnee school superintendent indicted in Gallia County

HIGHLAND COUNTY – Jude Meyers, superintendent of Shawnee Local Schools, was indicted Monday in Gallia County on 14 felony charges and one misdemeanor count that allege he used his position as former superintendent of the Gallia County Local School District for personal gain and to benefit his son.

A grand jury returned the indictment against Meyers charging him with 13 criminal counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract, all fourth-degree felonies; one count of theft in office, a fifth-degree felony; and one count of conflict of interest, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Clay Balyeat, president of the Shawnee board of education, said Tuesday morning that Meyers will retain his position as superintendent and will carry out his duties as usual while the criminal case against him plays out in court.

“There will be no action taken by the board,” Balyeat said. “We (board members) already discussed it last month and determined there is no harm to the students or staff and that (Meyers) is going stay on until we get a determination by a jury.”

Balyeat said Meyers is “absolutely” innocent until proven guilty.

The indictments allege Meyers, 63, used his position to gain employment contracts for his son and otherwise misused district resources, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced Monday.

The auditor said his office’s Special Investigations Unit looked into allegations against Meyers after receiving a complaint in January of 2019. The indictment alleges that between Feb. 1, 2015, and June 30, 2019, Meyers used his position as superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools to secure employment for his son, Marcus Meyers. According to the indictment Marcus Meyers received at least 13 separate contracts for work as a substitute employee or for supplemental coaching positions.

The indictment also alleges that Jude Meyers used his position as a public official to commit theft from the school district. Prosecutors allege the former superintendent converted school equipment and other resources for his personal benefit, including a school district van and trailer to move furniture and other personal belongings between residences, school-owned lawn equipment to mow his lawn, and a school vehicle for personal uses when his own vehicle was being repaired.

Meyers served as superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools from 2014 through mid-2021, when he resigned to accept a position as superintendent of Shawnee Local Schools. He was arraigned Monday in Gallia County Common Pleas Court and pleaded not guilty to all charges. Court records show he was represented by Cleveland attorney Edward Fadel.

Gallipolis is the county seat of the Gallia County, located in the Appalachian Region of Southeastern Ohio that borders the Ohio River.