Shawnee superintendent pleads guilty to conflict of interest: Ohio dismisses 14 felony charges

GALLIPOLIS — Jude Meyers, superintendent of Shawnee schools, pleaded guilty Monday in Gallia County Common Pleas Court to a first degree misdeanor count of conflict of interest. In exchange for that plea, the State of Ohio agreed to dismiss 14 felony charges against the school administrator.

Meyers was fined $1,000 and was ordered to pay court costs.

The former superintendent of Gallia County schools was indicted in June of 2022 amid allegations that he used his position for personal gain and to benefit his son.

A Gallia County 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 the conflict of interest charge.

The indictments alleged that Meyers, 63, used his position to gain employment contracts for his son and otherwise misused district resources, Auditor of State Keith Faber reported when the charges were made public.

The auditor said his office’s Special Investigations Unit looked into allegations against Meyers after receiving a complaint in January of 2019. The indictment alleged 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 alleged 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.

Mike Carpenter, president of the Shawnee board of education, felt justice was served with Monday’s court proceedings.

“We said we would let the judicial system work things out and it did. All the felony charges were dismissed, which is not surprising since Jude maintained his innocence all along. We are glad to get this behind us so we can focus completely on the work we are trying to get done at Shawnee.”

Samuel Jennings, who served as special prosecutor for the State of Ohio, could not be reached Monday afternoon.

Meyers served as superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools from 2014 through mid-2021, when he resigned to accept a similar position at Shawnee schools.

Gallia County is located in the Appalachian Region of Southeastern Ohio that borders the Ohio River.