Finding for Recovery, Partially Repaid Under Audit, Issued Against Former Mayor’s Court Clerk for the Village of Elmwood Place
For Immediate Release
Contact: Marc Kovac
Columbus – A finding for recovery of $61,028 has been issued against the former mayor’s court clerk for Elmwood Place in Hamilton County, who was convicted for stealing $46,920 from the Village, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced Thursday.
Cheryl Bruce was sentenced in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in March 2021 to five years of community control and ordered to make restitution of the amount stolen plus audit costs after pleading guilty in February 2021 to a single felony count of theft in office.
As mayor’s court clerk, Bruce was responsible for collecting and depositing fines, fees, and other court-related costs. From Jan. 1, 2017, through March 29, 2019, auditors determined Bruce failed to deposit $45,426 in court payments and $1,494 in delinquent income tax payments submitted to the Village.
Bruce resigned from her position in April 2019 and was indicted by the Hamilton County Grand Jury in May 2020.
The Village’s insurance company, Public Entity Risk Services of Ohio Inc., issued payment in the case of $46,420. State auditors on Thursday issued a finding for recovery against Bruce, with the remaining unpaid balance of $14,608, which includes the deductible and audit costs.
Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 81 convictions resulting in more than $2.7 million in restitution (Map of SIU Convictions Since January 2019: https://ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map.html). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).
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 Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.