Former Worthington Township trustee gets probation for theft, by the 10 commandments Judge no less!

Former Worthington Township trustee gets probation for theft

Jul. 15, 2014   |  

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Clark Swank

Clark Swank listens as First Assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page makes her recommendations during sentencing for his theft conviction for using township diesel fuel in his personal vehicle. / Dave Polcyn/News Journal

Written by

Mark Caudill

News Journal

 

 

MANSFIELD — Richland County Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese called Clark Swank’s crime “a bad mistake.” – Stealing gas one time is a mistake – MP

“You’ve worked hard and been a productive citizen,” the judge said. “In this case, it’s the first major mistake you’ve made.” – Yes, with professional courtesy it is difficult to get caught, usually somebody turns a blind eye or is paid off to go this long without getting in trouble. It’s like John Mayer getting professional courtesy for a DUI and this Judge says the same thing if and when someone actually prosecutes his first one. These sociopaths crack me up, then call me a crack pot to others because they can’t confront themselves. You have to love local politics (smh). This is just the first major mistake he’s been caught at, now that he’s going to be on the wall of shame he had better hope it’s his last. (wink, the REAL public record) we all know how the clerk of courts can be manipulated.

DeWeese sentenced Swank, a former Worthington Township trustee, to two years probation on Monday for theft in office. Swank, 64, of Butler, used township fuel in his personal vehicle while on township business.

The judge also ordered Swank to make $4,069 in restitution. DeWeese found Swank guilty on two counts of theft in office during a bench trial last month.

Swank could have received up to a year in prison. He had to surrender his position with the township, which he had held since 1984, when he was convicted.

In his trial, Swank contended there was a gentleman’s agreement allowing him to use township fuel in his personal vehicle for township business.

Swank noted the agreement permitted him to be compensated for his travel in the township as township road superintendent.

He also later acknowledged that he understood that Ohio law prohibits township trustees from being paid for such travel.

“He did, in fact, admit to using township fuel under a mistaken assumption that it was OK to do that,” defense attorney Robert Whitney said.

Wearing a navy blue suit and tie, Swank apologized to the court.

“I thought that it was legal, that I was doing the right thing,” he said. “I was trying to save the township money.”

After the previous road superintendent retired, Swank assumed some of his duties and supervised the two employees in the road department. They are the ones who noticed the missing fuel and reported it.

DeWeese ordered Swank not to have contact with township employees while they were on duty or visit township facilities.

Last week, Worthington Township Trustee Gary Smith resigned, leaving the township with only one trustee.

mcaudill@gannett.com
419-521-7219
Twitter: @MNJCaudill

 

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