Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Former Franklin clerk indicted

She's accused of keeping bond, fine money

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - A former chief deputy clerk accused of embezzling $16,000 in bond money and fines from Franklin Municipal Court was indicted Monday on charges of theft in office and tampering with records.

Diane Hayslett, 51, of Franklin allegedly pocketed the money from March 2000 through Jan. 31, 2001, when she was forced out of her job.

Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said Hayslett is accused of taking bonds and fines that she received from the sheriff's office, Franklin police and defendants.

Hayslett would erase the defendant's file from the computer so there was no record of the case, Hutzel said.

Hayslett also took the bond and fines she was in charge of depositing in the court's bank account for other clerks, Hutzel said.

The money was discovered missing in October 2000 and Judge James Ruppert allowed Hayslett to remain on the job and begin reimbursing the court while she was under police investigation.

The city recently sued her to recover the $9,478 remaining balance, as well as $25,000 in punitive costs and another $15,186 the city paid for a special audit.

Hayslett faces up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted on the theft and tampering charges.

In other grand jury indictments:

• Angela Marie Fields, 29, of the 5800 block of U.S. 22/Ohio 3, was charged with felony unlawful sexual conduct with a minor for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old boy in February 2000.

The boy did not immediately disclose the activity, but eventually told his mother, Hutzel said.

• A man who authorities say was associated with the motorcycle gang Iron Horsemen faces drug and weapons charges in the wake of a Feb. 5 traffic stop by Warren County sheriff's deputies.

Hutzel said Albert F. Jones Jr., 45, a Loveland resident and convicted marijuana trafficker, was found to have methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and two handguns in his car.

He is charged with carrying a concealed weapon, aggravated possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and having weapons while under disability because he is a convicted felon.

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