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Authorities Charge Fairfield Co. Official, Husband, with Felonies
COLUMBUS (Ken Hines/Brooks Jarosz) -- Investigators have filed felony charges against a Fairfield County official and her husband following an investigation into alleged financial improprieties.
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost announced Wednesday that Clerk of Courts Deborah Smalley is charged with theft in office, while her husband, Dave, faces a count of complicity to unlawful interest in a public contract.
The Smalleys both pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were arrested and arraigned on Wednesday afternoon. Dave was later released on his own recognizance, while Deborah was freed on a $1500 personal recognizance bond.
The arrests were the results of a special audit that was ordered by Yost in August following a preliminary investigation into activities at the clerk's office.
The investigation concerned allegations that arose in mid-June, when former employees complained that they were required to make campaign contributions and work on Smalley's reelection effort while on county time.
After the allegations came to light, security cameras caught Dave Smalley using his wife's key card to enter the clerk's office after-hours on June 30, bringing in and removing items to and from the building.
Authorities decided to arrest the Smalleys on Wednesday amid fears they were planning to leave the area after planning an auction of their property, which was later canceled.
The Smalleys, who recently spent time in Canada, have been ordered to surrender their passports.
They are scheduled to appear in court on October 11.