© 2023 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Former Mt. Sterling Village Administrator Faces 30-Count Felony Indictment

Mt. Sterling Chamber of Commerce

A former village administrator in Madison County faces a 30-count indictment that includes more than 20 felony counts of theft in office.

The Ohio Auditor's office handled the investigation of former Mount Sterling administrator Joseph Johnson after village officials discovered questionable purchases after Johnson resigned in January.

An indictment released Tuesday accuses  Johnson of using village credit cards to buy cars, electronics, and other items for himself. He's also accused of forging documents in an effort to hide the purchases.

Prosecutors say Johnson also back-dated his employment paperwork to fraudulently collect more than $130,000 in retirement.

Johnson is charged with 22 counts of felony theft in office, three counts of failure to file tax returns, two counts of money laundering, and single counts of theft, tampering with records, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Auditor Dave Yost said the facts laid out in the indictment are "alarming" and "disturbing."

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.