XENIA — Two current and two former Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools board members were charged with illegal transaction of public funds and dereliction of duty in Xenia Municipal Court Thursday.
Board President David Carpenter, board member Virginia Slouffman, and former board members Elizabeth Betz and Kathy Kingston face one count of each for their alleged actions during the district’s 2019 operating levy campaign. Illegal transaction of public funds is a first-degree misdemeanor while dereliction of duty is a second-degree misdemeanor according to court documents. Superintendent Doug Cozad was also charged and faces four counts of each.
The charges, filed by John M. Uhl — fraud investigator for the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit — allege that the four authorized the payment of public funds for a mailer that included a picture of the board with the title “Continue the Excellence with the passes of Issue 4!” The charges also indicate that the mailer included another post card regarding Issue 4 and payment was authorized by Cozad and the four board members. The total for both was around $5,214, according to court records.
Carpenter said Thursday that he has “no reason to think anything of substance or substantial truth about it” when asked about the charges Cozad is facing.
The four are set to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Nov. 17, according to court records.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.