Press Release Ohio Auditor of State

Former Utility Clerk for the Village of Swanton in Fulton County Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison Following Theft in Office Conviction

For Immediate Release

Monday, April 24, 2023

COLUMBUS – The former utility clerk for the Village of Swanton has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting she stole nearly $65,000 from the Fulton County community.

Kari Rowe, of Wauseon, also was ordered to make restitution of $128,384, including the funds that were stolen and audit costs, after pleading guilty in Fulton County Common Pleas Court to a single felony count of theft in office. The sentencing entry was filed Friday, April 21.

The Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the law enforcement division of the office, opened an investigation into Rowe after serious anomalies were discovered during an audit of Swanton’s finances for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, including utility payments that were not deposited into the Village’s bank account. 

SIU ultimately determined Rowe, who worked for the Village from May 2002 until her resignation in January 2018, had misappropriated $64,342.

Rowe was indicted in Fulton County Common Pleas Court in October 2022 and pleaded guilty to the theft in office count on Feb. 3, 2023.

Since 2019, the Special Investigations Unit has assisted in 108 convictions resulting in more than $5 million in restitution (see?Map of SIU Convictions? (ohioauditor.gov/fraud/convictions_map.html) 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 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. 

Public Affairs
Contact: Marc Kovac