A North Ridgeville Water Department employee accused of stealing more than $9,000 from the city has been charged in connection with the crime.
Jenny Ocasio, 39, was charged Friday with theft in office, a third-degree felony that carries with it up to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Ocasio had been investigated by North Ridgeville city officials after they noticed inconsistencies in the financial records of the Municipal Utilities Department. An internal investigation revealed that Ocasio had been stealing customer deposits made to the Water Department where she had worked for the last 10 years.
North Ridgeville Mayor David Gillock said Friday that it's believed Ocasio had been stealing the money over at least the last three years. Gillock said he knew Ocasio well because she had worked at City Hall since before Gillock first was elected mayor in 2003, but he declined to discuss any of his personal feelings toward her.
"I'm not going to get into a lot of that. She's a nice person," he said.
Ocasio submitted her resignation letter last week after being informed she was going to be fired following the city's investigation. Her union's collective bargaining agreement allows employees to resign prior to being terminated.
Ocasio, a North Ridgeville resident, could not be reached for comment Friday.
Contact Adam Wright at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.