Special Audit Details Investigation into Former Cincinnati School Secretary, Convicted in Theft of Athletic Event and Field Trip Cash

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 30, 2023

COLUMBUS – A special audit released Thursday details the investigation of a former Cincinnati City School District employee, who was convicted of stealing funds from athletic events and a student field trip, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.

Donnitta Thomas pleaded guilty in July 2022 to a misdemeanor count of theft and has since repaid $13,246, which included the amount stolen and audit costs.

The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) launched a criminal investigation and special audit in December 2019 into a check substitution scheme involving Thomas, who served as lead secretary at Shroder High School from October 2002 until July 2019.

Thomas, who also served as a cheerleader coach from July 2017 through June 2019, admitted pocketing $10,756 in student fees and cash collected during athletic events and for a school field trip. She hid the crime by posting facility rental checks paid to the school in place of the stolen money.

Thomas’ sentence included six month of community control, which was terminated once she made full restitution.

A copy of the full special audit is available online via Search Audits (ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/search.aspx).

Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 105 convictions resulting in more than $5 million in restitution (see?Map of SIU Convictions?since January 2019). The team receives hundreds of tips of suspected fraud annually. Tips can be submitted anonymously online or via SIU’s fraud hotline at 866-FRAUD-OH (866-372-8364).


The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.  

Public Affairs
Contact: Marc Kovac