Former Grove City payroll clerk indicted
A Franklin County grand jury on March 7 indicted former Grove City payroll clerk Jacqueline Kincade for six felony counts in connection with the disappearance of $67,799 in city funds.
Kincade, 62, is charged with one count of theft in office, a third-degree felony; two counts of tampering with records, a third-degree felony; one count of collecting and failing to remit withholding taxes, a fifth-degree felony; and two counts of filing false returns, a fifth-degree felony.
The indictments follow an investigation that began in December 2010 when the Internal Revenue Service told the city it had failed to pay about $685,905 in payroll withholding taxes.
Officials now say Grove City has lost more than $900,000, including the theft, IRS penalties and interest, audit and professional fees, and police overtime. The city also has said $235,311 in city funds remains unaccounted for.
“The consequences of that theft offense were substantially more than the amount taken,” Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said.
Kincade will appear for arraignment at 1 p.m. on March 28 at Franklin County Common Pleas Court, 345 S. High St., O'Brien said.
A city payroll specialist since 1987, Kincade was placed on paid leave Dec. 10, 2010. She submitted her retirement effective Jan. 7, 2011, and has denied any wrongdoing.
The Ohio Auditor's Office on Oct. 25 issued results of a special audit that include a finding for recovery against Kincade. The report found Kincade received 26 disbursements that exceeded her approved compensation.
“We issued a finding for recovery against Ms. Kincade for public monies illegally expended in the amount of $67,799,” the report said.
The audit examined deposits to and disbursements and withdrawals from the city's payroll checking account from Jan. 1, 2004 through Dec. 31, 2010. The report also found 54 instances where payroll account deposits did not agree with payroll register reports.
Grove City on Feb. 15 filed a civil action against Kincade for the $67,799.
City police in January 2011 called in a special forensic team from the state auditor's office to shore up a potential criminal case against anyone who might have stolen from Grove City. Mailed notices of the late and unpaid returns were found among files in City Hall.
City administrators said they have since changed the way mail is handled, passing it directly to department heads.