New Docs Released In Forgery Probe That Could Ensnare Richland County Officials


10TV has new information on a forgery investigation that could ensnare three of four elected officials in a Richland County community.

Earlier this week, 10TV broke the story of a Jackson Township official facing felony charges for allegedly forging meeting minutes.

Public records shed new light on what led up to the charges.

Craig Stover was fired from the Shelby Police Department in 2012.

These days he's employed by Jackson Township as a Zoning Inspector and Constable.

Richland County prosecutors say he was trying to maintain his Ohio Peace Officer certification, and falsified records to do it.

Stover had no comment for us earlier this week, but emails obtained by 10TV appear to lay out his side of the story.

He writes "I emailed the Ohio Attorney General's Office...inquiring about my Peace Officer status".

He says he was informed the state "could not update my Constable status because the Township did not establish a police department."

In another email, Stover tells the Attorney General's Office "The trustees believe they had established the department when appointing me constable, they will reword their minutes to reflect this if needed."

Prosecutors say that's when Stover created phony meeting minutes, which state the three Township Trustees voted unanimously to "establish a Township Police Department" and grant him "full authorities as an Ohio Police Officer."

The minutes are signed by all three trustees, but trustee Larry Diebley admits, that meeting never happened.

"When I went back over and read it, I said, ‘Oh Craig that's not right. We didn't actually have a meeting and so you can't do that.’”

Diebley said it was never his intention to deceive anyone.

Asked whether he felt misled by Craig Stover, he answered, “Yeah a little bit. But I don't know if he didn't realize either that that was something that shouldn't be done."

In his emails, Stover insists he didn't falsify anything and that trustees discussed everything in the minutes.

Prosecutors say the trustees are also under investigation and could face charges.