Sunday, March 25, 2001

Official's actions probed

Prosecutors look into more check claims

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HARVEYSBURG — The Warren County prosecutor's office is investigating additional accusations against former Village Administrator Kimble Grant, village officials say.

        Prosecutor Tim Oliver confirmed that village officials have asked his office “to look into some additional matters” but declined further comment. Sheriff's Detective J.R. Abshear also declined comment on what he called an “open investigation.”

        Village Attorney Pat Long and Councilwoman Kathleen Brewer both confirmed the new allegations involve checks written on the village's bank account in 1999, when Mr. Grant was administrator.

        Mr. Grant said he was unaware of the new investigation.

        The Harveysburg resident, who stepped down in January 2000, is to stand trial in mid-April on felony charges of theft in office. He is accused of spending $7,821 of the village's money on himself, mostly through charges on village credit cards.

        Those charges came to light during a state audit of the village's finances, completed in late December. A Warren County grand jury indicted Mr. Grant in January.

        The auditor's office also provided village officials with a list of checks Mr. Grant wrote on the village account in 1999, Mrs. Brewer said.

        After investigating on their own, Village Council members gave the sheriff's and prosecutor's offices a shorter list of checks in which the public purpose or the recipient of the money was in question, she said.

        Mrs. Brewer did not recall the number of checks or amount of money involved.

        The $7,821 Mr. Grant already is accused of misspending amounts to almost 7 percent of the annual general fund budget for this village of 563 in northeastern Warren County. If convicted of fourth-degree felony theft in office, he could be sentenced to six to 18 months in jail and fined $5,000.

        Mr. Grant said in December that he would repay whatever amount the state auditor decided he owed, but he said this week that his lawyer advised him against doing so until the criminal charges are resolved.


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