Former Treasurer Charged With Stealing Thousands From Local Band Boosters

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UPDATED: Thursday July 24, 2014 1:36 PM

The former Treasurer of the Watkins Memorial Band Boosters in Pataskala has been charged with stealing thousands from the group.

Ernest Todd Bowers, former treasurer, was charged by a Licking County Grand Jury in an indictment made public on Thursday.

According to the indictment, Bowers is accused of stealing $67,000 from the group.

According to investigators, Bowers allegedly used funds belonging to the Watkins Memorial Band Boosters for his personal use, including adult entertainment, trips, and gas.

The investigation was handled by the Ohio Attorney General's Charitable Law Section. The Licking County prosecutors office says Bowers' wife may face charges as well; she was president of the organization during Todd Bowers' tenure as treasurer.

Bowers left his position with the boosters in May. In a statement to 10TV, new Band Booster President Deb Coffel said that all of the group's officers have been replaced, and new bylaws have been enacted to increase accountability and security for the group.

"We are dedicated to restoring the integrity of our group, and we want to reassure all band parents and members of our community that every effort will be made to prevent any hint of impropriety in the future," said Coffel. "We have new officers in place, as well as a new bank account which will be managed with complete transparency."

Representatives from the band say that the group's financial issues have left them with several problems, including instruments so antiquated many are older than the students who play them.

Bowers was issued a summons to appear before a Licking County Judge.

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