Monday, January 21, 2019 Elyria

Cops and Courts

Columbia Station man accused of stealing from Strongsville schools


ELYRIA — A Columbia Station man has been indicted on theft in office charges for allegedly stealing from the Strongsville school district.

Robert Schwerman, 49, of Landing Lane, was indicted of third-degree felony counts of theft in office and tampering with records by a Cuyahoga County grand jury Monday, according to court documents.

According to a search warrant released Tuesday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court by the Ohio Auditor of State’s office, the auditor received a complaint from a person reporting criminal activity and thefts occurring from the school district in February 2017.

“The complainant, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution and reprisal, reported Robert Schwerman, the Strongsville City Schools District Maintenance Foreman, had purchased various equipment, material, and/or supplies through the SCSD and converted said items to his personal use,” the warrant said.

The complaint received by the auditor of state detailed several alleged instances of theft by Schwerman from the school district.

The complaint said Schwerman had possession of a carport purchased by the district at his home. The warrant contained photographs of the carport built at Schwerman’s home taken by an investigator with the State Auditor’s Office.

Schwerman also was accused of removing a wooden barn from school property on Westwood Drive in Strongsville, and erecting it in his backyard; investigators found it there.

The complaint also said Schwerman had possession of a generator, a furnace and air conditioning unit, and mulch, all of which were purchased by Strongsville Schools. The warrant said it was believed Schwerman “purchased excessive amounts of Ridgid tools for an incentive program to obtain Amazon gift reward cards.”

He also was said to have been involved in missing chain saws, leaf blowers and week trimmers purchased by the district. He also was accused of using the school district’s work truck for personal use, according to the warrant.

On Thursday, the warrant was executed and several items believed to have been purchased by the school district were found at Schwerman’s residence, including a garage door opener, a lawnmower, tool sets, power tools and a furnace.

Schwerman is scheduled to be arraigned May 30 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 440-329-7146 or Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.
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