Fairfield County Clerk Charged With Theft In Office


The Fairfield County Clerk of Courts has been charged with theft in office.

Deborah Smalley has been the focus of an Ohio Auditor investigation after allegations she required employees who work for her to campaign on county time.

She now faces third-degree felony charges for theft in office.

“Violation of the public trust is the worst sort of theft because it makes all of us victims, and shreds our confidence that those who govern will do the right thing,” Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said.

Earlier in the investigation, Sheriff Dave Phalen told the Lancaster Eagle Gazette that he had taken Smalley's key fob away from her under the direction of the auditor's office.

That was done to prevent her from entering the office's side door. She was then made to go through the metal detectors like anyone else entering the office.

The sheriff did that after her husband, Dave Smalley, was caught on security video bringing and removing items from her office on June 30.

Dave Smalley was also charged on Wednesday with complicity to unlawful interest in a public contract, a fourth-degree felony.

They are both slated to appear in court Oct. 11.

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