Taylor Investigation Secures Indictment and Arrest of Former Clyde-Green Springs Superintendent

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sandusky County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today announced the indictment and arrest of former Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village School District Superintendent Todd Helms.  Helms was indicted by a Sandusky County grand jury on 19 criminal counts.  The Auditor of State’s office revealed that Helms stole almost $300,000 from the school district.

“I will not tolerate the theft of public tax dollars,” said Taylor. “Public officials who misuse public money intended for the education of local school children must be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law.  I would like to thank the Clyde Police department for their assistance with this investigation.”

The indictment today indicates that Helms is responsible for theft, credit card misuse, falsifying or altering invoices, depositing school funds in personal accounts and stealing money from several school organizations.  Helms was indicted and arrested today on the following charges:

  • Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
  • Theft in office
  • Misuse of credit cards
  • Money laundering (2 counts)
  • Tampering with records (4 counts)
  • Incomplete, false and fraudulent returns (4 counts)
  • Grand theft (6 counts)

Taylor’s special prosecutor, James Manken, is serving as the special prosecutor for this case.  He is also working with the Sandusky County Prosecutor.  The Auditor of State’s office was assisted by the Clyde Police Department, the Sandusky County Prosecutor, the Ohio Department of Taxation, US Postal Inspectors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Volusia County Florida Sheriff’s Office with this case.

Clyde Ohio Chief of Police Bruce Gower also commented on today’s events.  “The Clyde Police Department would like to thank Auditor of State Mary Taylor’s office and Special Investigations Unit for their assistance and guidance in the investigation of Todd R. Helms. The size of this embezzlement would have been overwhelming for a small agency and county, so the work of auditor’s office in this investigation was remarkable.  Also, we would like to thank the citizens of the Clyde-Green Springs School District and the local media who gave us time to do this investigation right and completely without pressure.”

On August 5, 2008, Auditor Taylor initiated a special audit of the Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village School District because of allegations against former Superintendent Todd Helms.  The special audit is still in progress.  Further details will not be available until the report is complete and released from the Auditor of State.

A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.