Former South-Western City School District Employee Stole $39,000

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Columbus – A former accounts payable manager took advantage of a poorly monitored checking account at South-Western City School District (Franklin County), according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. 

“What she stole was more than just money, it was opportunity for students,” Auditor Yost said. “We can only hope that her sentencing will hold her accountable.” 

During the period June 17, 2009 through October 11, 2013, former accounts payable manager Trixie Belew used the district’s Checks on Demand System to issue and deposit a total of $38,931 in unauthorized checks. Belew issued 28 checks to herself totaling $26,412 and one check to her daughter for $1,174. Additionally, 23 checks totaling $11,345 were made payable to various district teachers, but deposited into Belew’s personal bank account. 

A finding for recovery has been issued against Belew for the full amount. Belew was indicted by the Franklin County Grand Jury on December 13, 2013 on one count of theft in office, one count of tampering with records and five counts of forgery. She is set for trial on June 3, 2014.

In December 2013, the District received $37,931 from its insurance company for the loss. The insurance policy had a $1,000 deductible. The district also updated the safeguards to its Checks on Demand System. 

A full copy of this audit may be accessed online


The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies.  Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.

Carrie Bartunek
Press Secretary