Former Mt. Sterling Administrator Sentenced to 10 Years for Theft in Office

A Former Mt. Sterling Village Administrator has been sentenced to a decade in prison for stealing from the Madison County community.

Joseph A. Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to seven felonies, including one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity (a first-degree felony) and two counts each of Theft in Office, Money Laundering and Tampering with Records (all third-degree felonies).

Johnson was indicted in July of 2016 on 30 counts stemming from his misuse of village credit cards to purchase vehicles, automotive equipment and other miscellaneous items.

“Joe Johnson used Mt. Sterling’s credit cards like a personal slush fund. The scale of his financial abuse is hard to comprehend, but it’s even more staggering when you consider the financial resources of a village,” Auditor of State Dave Yost said. “Today, the people of the village can be relieved that justice has been served.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Madison County Common Pleas Court Judge Eamon Costello ordered Johnson to make restitution in the amount of $724,239 and up to $43,460 to cover the costs of financial audits. 

Johnson forfeited his Jackson County property at 3203 Camba Rd., in the city of Jackson. He also forfeited the property seized when a search warrant was executed on July 19, including a number of vehicles.

Johnson faced a maximum of 29 years in prison, according to Robert Smith, Special Prosecutor in the case and an assistant legal counsel for Auditor of State Yost. Dennis Graul, an investigator for Auditor Yost, led the investigation.

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