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Columbus Schools Worker Stole COTA Bus Passes Intended For Low-Income Students

COTA sign
Creative Commons

A former Columbus City Schools employee has pleaded guilty to stealing bus passes meant for low-income students.

Mary Cockrell, 63, entered the plea Thursday to a felony count of theft in office. She paid $6,200 in restitution and was sentenced to time served.

Cockrell worked for the transportation department of Columbus City Schools in March 2017 when she took a bundle of 100 Central Ohio Transit Authority bus passes.

Columbus police and the Ohio auditor's office investigated after discovering that the monthly passes were being advertised online at a discount. They found that the passes were being sold by Jason Morris, who was dating Cockrell's daughter.

Morris pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of receiving stolen property.