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Walnut Township Fiscal Officer Ordered to Step Down Following Guilty Plea
Columbus – A Fairfield County judge today ordered the fiscal officer of Walnut Township to resign by Oct. 31 for unlawfully recommending her sister for a job with the township.
“Nepotism has no place in government,” Auditor Dave Yost said. “All job candidates are entitled to a level playing field and cannot be hired based on their relation to current employees.”
Lynn Kraner pleaded guilty today to a first-degree misdemeanor count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract. Fairfield County Common Pleas Judge David Trimmer sentenced her to 60 days in jail, suspended, and one year of probation.
Kraner was indicted in February after a trustee discovered that she recommended her sister for a job without divulging their relationship. Kraner’s sister uses a different last name.
The township paid her sister a total of $1,915 from 2014 through 2016. Kraner repaid that amount to the township today.
As part of her sentence, Kraner is prohibited from serving as a public official after Oct. 31. She is allowed to keep her job until that time so the township can hire a replacement.
Robert Smith, assistant chief legal counsel for the Auditor of State’s office, acted as special prosecutor in the case.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 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.
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