The man who resigned as mayor of an Athens County village earlier in January pleaded guilty to theft charges Friday after coming under public scrutiny.
George Pallo of Jacksonville pleaded guilty to two counts each of theft in office and grand theft, according to the Athens County Clerk of Courts.
According to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, the 56-year-old former mayor took funds designated for the village and deposited them in the Jacksonville Fire fund 501©3 and used some for personal use.
Officials said the theft occurred from Jan. 1, 2011 until December of 2012.
The prosecutor also said that Pallo opened a credit card in the village’s name without authorization to purchase a lawn mower, while indicating to village officials that he had used the money from the Jacksonville Fire fund 501©3 for the purchase.
The village owes more than $5,000 for the lawnmower, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Pallo also was accused of writing checks totaling more than $19,000 to “cash” out of the fire fund for both legitimate and personal expenses.
“We are happy to assist the prosecutor’s office with this investigation,” said Athens Agent-in-Charge Erik Lockhart in a Thursday release. “This kind of activity is unfortunate, you have two locations that believed their charitable gaming proceeds were going to the village charity when it was actually going to one individual for personal gain.”
Pallo’s plea agreement permits the Village of Jacksonville to avoid a pricey audit.
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January 10, 2013: Athens County Mayor Resigns Amid Charges Of Theft In Office